Objective: Gold standard treatment of symptomatic hydrocele or spermatocele is surgery. Despite a minor procedure, complications such as bleeding and infections leading to reoperations may be devastating for the patients. In autumn 2018, an accumulation of complications was seen in our department. The aim of this study was to investigate the rate and grade of complications and to identify potential means to reduce these.
Materials and methods: Patient records of all patients undergoing surgical repair of hydrocele or spermatocele from December 2017 to November 2018 were examined. Results were audited to identify potential causes of complications. The focus was on the perioperative hemostasis and postoperative activity restrictions. The outcome was compared to a consecutive patient series operated the following year.
Results: Sixty-five men were operated on during the first period. Twenty-two patients contacted the department postoperatively due to swelling or pain, 19 patients were examined at the hospital and six patients were re-operated 1-9 times. The following year, 69 patients were operated on. Of these, 16 patients contacted the department postoperatively (p = 0.17), 13 patients were examined at the hospital, and five patients were re-operated (p = 0.68). There was the same complication rate in patients operated by specialist urologists or supervised younger doctors. However, patients preoperatively examined and informed by a specialized urologist had significantly fewer complications compared to those informed by urological residents and interns (p = 0.012).
Conclusion: Despite the change in patient information and increased awareness of possible complications, a high proportion of patients still were in need of unplanned contact to the department and reoperation.
Keywords: Testicular hydrocele; medical education; patient information; postoperative complications; spermatocele.