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An epididymal cyst is a benign fluid-filled sac which forms in the epididymis (tubing which connects the testicle to the vas deferens/spermatic cord) behind each testicle. It is therefore separate from the testicle itself. Affected men may have one or several cysts on either or both testicles. Small cysts are fairly common but rarely troublesome, so do not usually need any treatment. Larger ones can be several centimetres across and are more likely to cause discomfort. If necessary, these can be surgically removed.
The operation is a fairly simple one and recovery is usually uneventful. However, as your GP indicated, there are potential complications to be considered with any surgery. Although the risks are generally small, these include infection, bleeding, chronic pain and accidental damage to the epididymis or testicles. There is always the possibility of further cysts recurring after surgery.
While you should always go into any operation knowing the pros and cons, including chance of success and risk of complications, only you can really make the final decision whether to proceed. If the cysts really are having a significant detrimental impact, you should ask to see a urologist to decide whether surgery would be advisable.
This was first published in the February / March 2015 edition of Cycling UK's Cycle magazine.