DOI: 10.1093/jsxmed/qdae001.076 ISSN: 1743-6095

(080) Outcomes After Isolated Epididymal Pain

D Chung, D Bal, P Patel
  • Urology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Psychiatry and Mental health



Chronic epididymitis imposes significant physical and psychosocial distress on affected patients. Despite being a commonly encountered urologic condition, there remains a paucity of understanding and literature surrounding the management and natural history of isolated epididymal pain. Typically, patients who do not respond to conservative management undergo an epididymectomy. However, the literature on its efficacy is also scarce, with success rates varying widely from 10-90% in existing studies.


To better describe the etiology, pathogenesis and natural history of isolated epididymal pain. Furthermore, we aimed to describe the rates of success associated with epididymectomy.


A retrospective cohort study was conducted at the Manitoba Men’s Health Clinic, with approved by the University of Manitoba REB. All patients presenting with chronic epididymitis, defined as discomfort or pain localized to the epididymis for at least three months, were identified. Information regarding patient demographics, past medical and surgical history, duration of pain, localization of pain, findings on previous ultrasounds, STI testing results, prior conservative therapies trialed and response rates, as well as response rates to surgical therapy were collected.


From April 2022 to 2023, a total of 274 patients with chronic orchialgia were identified, and among them, 74 patients specifically presented with chronic isolated epididymal pain. The average duration of symptoms was as follows: 21.6% (n=16) of patients experienced symptoms for 3-6 months, 9.5% (n=7) for 6-12 months, and 63.5% (n=47) for over 12 months. 13.5% (n=10) had associated ejaculatory pain, 8.1% (n=6) had lower urinary tract symptoms, and 4.1% (n=3) had erectile dysfunction. Ultrasound findings were observed in 68.9% of patients, with 31.1% having an epididymal cyst, 27.1% having a varicocele, 5.4% having a spermatocele, and 4.1% having a hydrocele. 49.4% (n=40) did not undergo any intervention prior to referral. After referral, 58.8% (n=43) of patients had undergone antibiotic treatment, 12.2% (n=9) had tried an NSAID, and one patient was referred for pelvic floor physical therapy. Among those who underwent conservative therapy, only 36.2% of patients reported a positive response. Surgical intervention was performed on 23 patients, including 16 who underwent an epididymectomy, three who underwent cord denervation, and two who underwent vasovasostomy and spermatocelectomy each. 81.3% of patients (n=13) who underwent an epididymectomy had a positive response to the surgical intervention, defined as satisfactory improvement of pain, while all patients undergoing other surgical interventions experienced a positive response.


Chronic epididymal pain is a condition with limited data surrounding its management. Prior to referral, a large proportion of patients did not undergo any conservative treatment, and of those that did, there was limited response rates. For those who underwent surgical intervention, all were pain free on follow up, except three patients who underwent and epididymectomy.


Any of the authors act as a consultant, employee or shareholder of an industry for: Boston Scientific.

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