What is Epididymectomy?
The surgical removal of the epididymis is called an epididymectomy. This procedure is done when there is inflammation of infection of the epididymis known as epididymitis. The epididymis is a long coiled tube attached to the upper part of each testicle where the sperm matures and are stored before ejaculation.
Effects of Epididymectomy
The goal of this procedure is to get the inflamed epididymis above the level of the heart. Blood flow out of the testicle improves with this procedure resulting in a more rapid healing process and a reduction of swelling and discomfort.
Candidates for Epididymectomy
Attention should be focused on the area of the lower abdomen, external genitalia, and prostate during physical examination. The location of the pain and any connection with induration, inflammation, or masses within the spermatic cord, epididymis, and/or testicle will be determined through careful and thorough examination of the scrotum and its contents. It is best to inspect the unaffected side first if the condition is believed to be unilateral.
The Epididymectomy Procedure
This procedure used to treat epididymitis is done under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis.
Epididymectomy is the process of removing the inflamed section of the epididymis by making a small incision in the scrotum.
Fluid and sperm are being prevented from passing through the epididymis through bilateral vasectomy. Men who have chronic epididymitis or elderly patients who are undergoing prostate surgery usually have this procedure done.
After the treatment, pain usually subsides after 24 to 72 hours; however, complete recovery may take weeks or months. Application of ice intermittently may help with the healing and in cases of infection, intake of fluids can aid in recovery. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen are very helpful in relieving pain and in the reduction of inflammation.
Soreness and discomfort are usually reported by most patients. There may also be bruising and swelling after the procedure but usually takes place a few days after the surgery and not right after it; however, this usually disappears after two weeks.
What is epididymitis?
It is the inflammation of the epididymis, the coiled tube which collects sperm from the testicle and transports it to the vas deferens. Acute epididymitis and chronic epididymitis are the two forms of this disease. The sudden presence of severe symptoms which subsides with treatment is called acute epididymitis. On the other hand, chronic epididymitis is a longstanding condition wherein onset of the disease is gradual. Symptoms may be treated but there is no assurance of complete eradication of these. Majority of the cases of this disease occur in adults.
What are the symptoms of epididymitis?
This disease is distinguished by the sudden redness and swelling of the scrotum. Upon inspection of the affected testicle, it will be noticed that it is hard and sore and the other testicle may feel tender. Chills, fever, and most of the time acute urethritis or inflammation of the urethra are usually experienced.
What causes epididymitis?
Bacterial infection usually causes acute epididymitis. Sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea or chlamydia infection are the most common infection causing epididymitis in sexually active men. Bacteria from the urinary tract are the common cause of epididymitis in men over 40 years of age. The other causes of this disease include partially blocked urethra, bladder outlet obstruction because of an enlargement of the prostate, or catheterization of the urethra that is done recently.
What are the options for treating epididymitis?
Antibiotic therapy must be commenced as soon as the symptoms appear because this disease affects both testicles resulting in sterility. Medications should be taken precisely as prescribed in order to prevent reinfection to occur. Even if the patient’s symptoms disappear or he begins to feel better, the medications should be taken accurately. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories may be used for pain relief but should only be taken upon the approval of a urologist or a family physician.
Bed rest is encouraged while waiting for the symptoms to subside. Upon resumption of normal activities, the patient is recommended to wear an athletic supporter. A local anesthetic like lidocaine (Xylocaine) may be injected directly into the spermatic cord if the pain is severe.