Epididymal cysts are fluid-filled sacs that develop in the epididymis (a small tube located near to the upper testicle).
They’re often caused by sperm collecting in the epididymis and develop for no apparent medical reason.
They are more common than you might realise in that, during a man’s lifetime, 30% of men will suffer from them.
And commonly, men between the ages of 20 and 50 are more likely to develop them.
Symptoms of epididymal cysts
In the majority of cases, epididymal cysts are painless, which means often there might not be any apparent symptoms at all.
However, most will come across the lump if and when they examine their testicles.
If the cyst increases in size then it is common to feel a heaviness in the testicle and you might also notice a mass or swelling too.
Diagnosis of epididymal cysts
Mr Suks Minhas will carry out a few tests to ensure that you have a cyst and not a tumour.
This will begin with a physical examination, usually followed by a transillumination or an ultrasound.
The transillumination test will help further in determining whether the mass is a cyst rather than a tumour.
If no fluid is detected, you will be sent for an ultrasound.
Treatment for epididymal cysts
In many cases, there is no need for treatment and any pain or discomfort can be managed with painkillers (if an infection is present then patients are prescribed antibiotics).
If the pain and pressure cause further discomfort then the procedure of aspiration could be carried out whereby a needle is inserted to remove some of the fluid.
Should the cysts refill, then a procedure known as sclerotherapy could also be carried out.
In rare cases and if the cyst is affecting everyday life then surgery may be necessary.
In this alternative, the surgeon will make an incision and remove the growth.