Most spermatoceles are asymptomatic. When the cysts have dilated enough to become large and noticeable, they may present as:
Entire Body System
- Wound Infection
Complications of spermatocelectomy include hematoma and, less commonly, wound infection, scrotal abscess, or recurrence. [emedicine.medscape.com]
Wound infection, scrotal abscess, and recurrent hydrocele or spermatocele complete the list of complications but are less common. Most patients have a successful outcome with a minimal incidence of recurrence. [onlinelibrary.wiley.com]
[…] clinical trial. 61 Unal Y...Kilinc MF 30168266 2019 3 Epidemiology of hydrocele and spermatocele; incidence, treatment and complications. 61 Lundstrom KJ...Nordin P 30990342 2019 4 Clinical Challenge: A Spermatocele and Sperm Granulomas in a Four-Eyed Fish [malacards.org]
It is suggested that in some patients with congenital absence of vas deferens, the paired Wolffian ducts may differ from each other in their development. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Others suggest that blockage of the efferent ducts and epididymis result in spermatocele formation. Additionally, in utero exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES), a synthetic form of estrogen, has also been suggested as a possible cause. [uropartners.com]
- Scrotal Mass
Located at the superior pole of the testis and caput epididymis, the spermatocele is soft and fluctuant and can be transilluminated (a flashlight can be seen if shined through the scrotal mass). [healthcentral.com]
H&E stain 20x Spermatoceles can be discovered as incidental scrotal masses found on physical examination by a physician. They may also be discovered by self-inspection of the scrotum and testicles. [en.wikipedia.org]
Abnormalities within the male reproductive tract may appear as scrotal masses. Masses may be of little significance or may represent life-threatening illnesses. [uropartners.com]
It's a good idea to have your doctor evaluate any scrotal mass to rule out a serious condition, such as testicular cancer. Also, call your doctor if you experience pain or swelling in your scrotum. [mayoclinic.org]
- Swelling of the Scrotum
Also, call your doctor if you experience pain or swelling in your scrotum. A number of conditions can cause testicular pain, and some require immediate treatment. Causes The cause of spermatoceles is unknown. [mayoclinic.org]
These are too similar conditions of fluid swelling in the scrotum. [metrovanurology.com]
There will be a visible and palpable cough impulse and percussion will yield a tympanic note. Testicular malignancy Presents with a painless swelling of the scrotum in 75 percent of cases.  It is usually a hard immobile scrotal lump.  Enlarged [explainmedicine.com]
Also, be sure to call your doctor if you experience pain or swelling in your scrotum. A number of conditions can cause testicular pain, and some require immediate treatment. The cause of spermatoceles is unknown. [fortishealthcare.com]
- Testicular Pain
- Testicular Mass
Imaging and management of atypical testicular masses. Urol Clin North Am. 1998;25:375-388. Dogra VS, Gottlieb RH, Rubens DJ, Liao L. Benign intratesticular cystic lesions: US features. RadioGraphics. 2001;21:S273-S281. [appliedradiology.com]
Relapses usually occur within 18 months of initiation of chemotherapy. 15 Benign Causes of Testicular Masses Hydrocele Mechanism. [aafp.org]
- Epididymal Swelling
Treatment with anti-inflammatory medication can reduce the incidence of subclinical epididymitis/swelling and increase the cure rate.  Postoperative Details Spermatocelectomy Postoperatively, patients are encouraged to continue scrotal support, using [emedicine.medscape.com]
Work up consists of a detailed history and physical examination.
Laboratory test are rarely performed. Usually a physical examination and imaging studies are sufficient to form a diagnosis. If the patient also complains of pain during urinating and/or in the scrotum, urinalysis may be done to check for epididymitis.
Ultrasound: Scrotal ultrasound will assist diagnosis if there is uncertainty .
Color Doppler Sonography: Color Doppler may reveal a 'falling snow' sign, resulting from internal echoes moving away from the transducer .
Transillumination: Spermatoceles are transilluminate on examination as they contain fluid.
On the basis of imaging studies and physical examination, spermatoceles can be diagnosed and treatment, if needed, can be started.
This procedure is only performed when the spermatocele is large and poses some discomfort to the patient. It is conducted via a transscrotal approach and is the primary surgical treatment for this condition. The patient must be counselled regarding the risks of infertility, as well as the more common complications of hematoma, infection, swelling, recurrence and pain .
This procedure is less effective than spermatocelectomy. Coaptation of the walls of the cyst, by the help of a sclerosing agent or sclerosant, is done after aspirating the cyst to prevent recurrence. Sclerosants used include tetracycline, phenol and sodium tetradecyl sulphate . Comparative trials have not established any one agent as a superior spermatocele sclerosing agent . It should be noted that this procedure carries more risks and complications than a spermatocelectomy.
Spermatoceles have an excellent prognosis. As they are benign masses, they may not require treatment at all if asymptomatic. If, however, they are symptomatic and/or large in size, they can be successfully treated with surgery.
Complications of spermatoceles are rare. Some of them may include:
Spermatoceles are mainly idiopathic. Several factors have been proposed to be the underlying cause of development of a spermatocele. It is generally accepted, however, that any condition, that blocks one or more of the ducts in the scrotum may result in formation of a spermatocele.
Scarring of any part of the ducts may result in this condition and so can vasectomy. Trauma and inflammation may also cause spermatoceles . Aneurysmal dilatations of the epididymis may also cause the formation of a spermatocele.
Spermatoceles are typically smooth, well circumscribed scrotal masses that may occur anywhere along the vas deferens or somewhere in the ducts of the testis itself.
They most commonly occur from the head, known as the caput, of the epididymis. They contain fluid and varying content of spermatozoa.
Spermatoceles are benign and may go unnoticed unless large in size or painful. They may be of a few millimetres or grow up to be many centimetres wide.
Although the exact etiology is heretofore unknown, it is clear that any factor that results in blockage of one or more of the testicular ducts will eventually predispose to the formation of a spermatocele. Such factors include inflammation, such as epididymisitis, scarring due to vasectomy, trauma to the scrotum, etc.
Spermatoceles can not be prevented from forming unless they are due to an underlying treatable cause such as inflammation.
A spermatocele is a cyst like dilatation of the ducts inside the scrotum. The cysts can be solitary or many. They contain clear fluid and typically some amount of sperms.
Diagnosis is made on the basis of physical examination and ultrasound.
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