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


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


March 21, 2017


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