Epidemiology of hydrocele and spermatocele; incidence, treatment and complications

Scand J Urol. 2019 Apr-Jun;53(2-3):134-138. doi: 10.1080/21681805.2019.1600582. Epub 2019 Apr 16.


Objectives: To estimate the incidence of men seeking specialized care and receiving treatment for hydro or spermatocele complaints. Also, to determine the risk of complications of treatment. Materials and methods: The total number of men living in Sweden each year from 2005 to 2014 was used to calculate incidence and age distribution of adult (≥18 years) men seeking specialized healthcare with either hydro or spermatocele. This was done by using nationwide registries, mandatory by law. They contain information on primary or discharge diagnosis, procedure codes and antibiotic prescriptions. Also, complication rates comparing aspiration (with or without sclerotherapy) and conventional surgery were analysed. Results: The incidence of men with either hydro or spermatocele diagnosis in specialized healthcare was ∼100/100,000 men. The treatment incidence was 17/100,000 men. Orchiectomy was used as primary treatment in 2.4% of cases. The risk of experiencing a complication was clinically and statistically significantly increased with conventional surgery as compared with aspiration, 17.5% (1607/9174) vs 4.6% (181/3920), corresponding to relative risk of 3.79 (95% CI = 3.27-4.40). Hematoma and infections were the most common complications. Conclusion: Hydro and spermatoceles are common, affecting elderly men. Aspiration seems advantageous with respect to complications and can be recommended due to the benign course of the disease. The indication for conventional surgery might be questioned such as the use of orchiectomy as primary treatment.

Keywords: Testicular hydrocele; incidence; postoperative complications; spermatocele.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Hematoma / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Orchiectomy
  • Paracentesis
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Sclerotherapy
  • Spermatocele / epidemiology*
  • Spermatocele / surgery
  • Surgical Wound Infection / epidemiology
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Testicular Hydrocele / epidemiology*
  • Testicular Hydrocele / surgery
  • Urologic Surgical Procedures, Male*
  • Young Adult