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Evaluating the risk of epididymal injury during hydrocelectomy and spermatocelectomy.

PURPOSE: We evaluated the risk of epididymal injury in patients undergoing hydrocelectomy and spermatocelectomy, and determined risk factors that may increase the chance of epididymal injury. To our knowledge the incidences of epididymal injury during hydrocelectomy and spermatocelectomy have not previously been reported.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The pathology reports of all patients undergoing hydrocelectomy and spermatocelectomy at a single institution from 1990 to 2003 were retrospectively reviewed to determine if a portion of the epididymis was present in the pathology specimen. Patients with epididymis present then underwent a chart review to determine possible risk factors for epididymal injury.

RESULTS: A total of 338 adults underwent unilateral or bilateral hydrocelectomy from 1990 to 2003. Another 111 patients underwent spermatocelectomy during this period. In 19 patients (5.62%) epididymal injuries were documented during hydrocelectomy and in 19 (17.12%) epididymal injuries were documented during spermatocelectomy. No specific risk factors could be identified.

CONCLUSIONS: The risk of epididymal injury during hydrocelectomy and spermatocelectomy is significant. Patients must be informed of this risk since epididymal injury may lead to infertility. To our knowledge this is the first published report documenting the incidence and risk of epididymal injury during hydrocelectomy or spermatocelectomy.

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