Surgery on the scrotum is a treatment option for those suffering from conditions such as: a hydrocele or spermatocele. These two conditions cause fluids, including sperm, to become trapped in the scrotum. Scrotal surgery releases these fluids and helps to prevent the problem from happening again. Understandably, for men this is a type of surgery which they feel quite nervous about.
Why Would You Need It?
- You need scrotal surgery to treat a hydrocele if it becomes uncomfortable.
- A spermatocele requires surgery because of the fluid blockage in the upper testicle. This does not impact fertility rates but it can cause discomfort if it’s allowed to build up.
- Vasectomy for contraception.
What Happens During Scrotal Surgery?
- Scrotal surgery is performed in the operating room under local or general anesthetic.
- You will not have to stay overnight in the hospital.
- You will need someone to take you home after surgery.
The Risks and Complications of Scrotal Surgery
- There is a very small but possible risk of injury to the testicle or the spermatic cord structures.
- Bleeding into the scrotum after surgery leading to a large bruise that may possibly need to be drained.
- Infection around the incision site. Redness and swelling are normal but if there is purulent drainage or increasing pain in the incision site you should be seen by a doctor.
What Happens Afterwards?
- You’ll be given dressing which shouldn’t be removed until at least 24 hours after surgery. Your doctor will tell you when you should remove your dressing.
- The scrotum will likely change color for the next few weeks. It heals very much like a bruise and is nothing to worry about.
- You’ll normally be given a follow-up appointment so you can be evaluated a few weeks after your surgery.
- The sutures will dissolve on their own in about 6 weeks.
- The first 48hr are the most important after surgery to prevent excessive swelling and pain
- Wear tight supportive underwear or a jock-strap when possible
- Ice the scrotum over a towel for 20min at a time with 1hr off
- You can shower after 48hrs, do not bath until 4 weeks after
- Take oral pain medication regularly for the first 48hr then switch to taking it when you need the pain relief
Since this isn’t a highly traumatic surgery you can continue to eat your normal diet. Some light exercise, such as walking, is recommended to help prevent any clotting and to keep your normal metabolism in check. Avoid heavy lifting of more than 20lb for 2 weeks after surgery as this can cause worsening of the swelling.
Should You Visit Your Doctor?
In some cases, you may notice symptoms which make you feel as if something has gone wrong. This isn’t always the case, though. You shouldn’t immediately jump to conclusions on this issue. Here are some of the common scenarios where unexpected symptoms do warrant a visit to the doctor, though.
- If you have a fever this could be a sign of an infection. Your scrotum might also be excessively red or burning.
- Severe pain which home medication doesn’t help with.
- You can’t pass any urine yet you have the urgent need to.
- If there’s any pus or smelly drainage coming out of the incision sight this is a sign of an infection. Clear yellow and bloody discharge is normal within the first couple of weeks.
- If the incision has separated you’ll need to have new stitches put in.
- Rapid swelling to the point where the skin is tight indicates a problem with the testicles.
Michelle Strovski, Maple Ridge Urology, Serving Maple Ridge, Coquitlam, Mission, Abbotsford, Langley, and Vancouver.