TESTS AND PROCEDURES

Understanding Epididymectomy

By Semko, Laura 
 | 
March 21, 2017

Understanding Epididymectomy

Outline of male abdomen showing kidneys and urogenital anatomy inside.

An epididymectomy is a surgery to remove the epididymis. An epididymis is a tube that holds sperm. You have two of these tubes, one in the back of each testicle.

How to say it

ep-ih-did-uh-MEK-tuh-mee

Why epididymectomy is done

You may need this procedure for a number of reasons. These include:

  • An injury to the groin area

  • An infection or pus-filled lump (abscess) in the epididymis that is hard to treat

  • A tumor or large fluid-filled sac (cyst) in the epididymis

  • Long-term (chronic) pain, such as after a vasectomy

How epididymectomy is done

This procedure is often done on an outpatient basis. That means you can go home afterward. During the procedure:

  • You are given medicine to make you drowsy or fall asleep. You won’t feel pain.

  • The surgeon makes a cut into your scrotum. He or she finds the epididymis.

  • The surgeon removes part or all of the epididymis.

  • The surgeon closes up the wound with stitches (sutures).

Risks of epididymectomy

  • Bleeding

  • Infection

  • Pain

  • Being unable to have children (infertility)

  • Damage to a testicle or blood supply to the testicle

Updated:  

March 21, 2017

Sources:  

Celigoj FA, et al. Surgery of the Scrotum and Seminal Vesicles. In: Wein AJ, et al, editors. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11 ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier; 2016. p. 946-66., Fenig D, et al. Complications of Surgery of the Testicale, VAS, Epididymis, and Scrotum. Complications of Urologic Surgery: Prevention and Management. 4 ed. Philadelphia: Saunders; 2010. p. 627-39., Hellstrom WJG. Epididymectomy. In: Smith JA, editor. Hinman's Atlas of Urologic Surgery. 3 ed. Philadelphia: Saunders; 2012. p. 325-6.

Reviewed By:  

Greenstein, Marc A, DO, FACOS,Image reviewed by StayWell medical illustration team.,Ziegler, Olivia, MS, PA