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Urology/ultrasound testicles


QUESTION: I went to have my ultrasound scan on my testicles today. However there are a few concerns I have. First, I am concerned that the gel they used and the probe could have been contaminated due to lack of hygiene. I am worried that some of the gel may have rubbed off onto my penis tip and worked its way inside and contaminated me. How likely is this?

secondly I am not sure he did a proper job. The whole thing lasted only a few minutes. He didn't ask me to remove my trousers, just to pull them half way down and then I lay down flat.. Plus my testicles were retracted due to the cold. I have read that a towel is placed to support the testicles. That didn't happen. It all seemed very hurried. A couple minutes on each testicle. Then he also scanned both sides of my ribs. why did he do that?

If the results come back 'normal' do i have reason to complain that it wasn't done properly?  based on what i have told you does it seem like it was improperly performed?


The idea that ultrasound gel may have contaminated the urethra is exceeding unlikely; but in medicine almost anything is possible.

A towel is not always necessary for a testicular ultrasound.  It depends on the anatomy and what is being looked at.  scanning of the ribs is actually a scan of the kidneys and this is a good practice as it adds very little additional time and checks for alot of possible problems.

I can't guarantee that it was done properly as I wasn't there, but you can always talk to the radiologist about the number and quality of the ultrasound pictures.  He's ultimately in charge of the quality and extent of the pictures.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: but what about the fact that my testicles were retracted, doesn't this make the scan harder to do?

and how long should a scan of the testicles take in your opinion? mine took only a few minutes it seemed rushed.

and just common sense tells me that to have discomfort in both testicles at once is unlikely to be caused by a problem in both testicles. Unless there are conditions which somehow manage to affect both at once. What could be going on?  at the beginning I thought it was torsion but now I am certain its not. Its not a sexually transmitted condition because no sexual intercourse has occurred.

Even if it was epididimitis, it would have surely cleared itself up by now no? its almost been about 2 months now I think.

is this a horrible case of 'chronic epididimitis' where nobody knows the cause or the cure and its permanent?


A few minutes may be enough if the images are good and complete.  With retracted testicles, a towel may interfere more than it helps.

Problems simultaneously involving both testicles could involve the prostate which is tied into both sides.  Some scrotal and epididymal problems can linger for some time.

You'll need to check with your local urologist about your specific diagnosis and treatment options.  If conservative measures fail, sometimes we will consider a surgery if there is a localized area of discomfort; but again, this is highly individualized.


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Stephen W. Leslie, MD


Questions concerning erectile dysfunction, kidney stones and prostate disorders including prostate cancer. I have a special interest in kidney stone disease prevention.


Full time practicing urologist with 30 years experience. Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of Urology at Creighton University Medical Center. Editor in Chief of eMedicine Urology internet textbook. Author of only NIH approved book written for patients by a urologist on the subject of kidney stones "The Kidney Stones Handbook". Inventor of the "Parachute" and "Escape" kidney stone baskets and the "Calculus" stone prevention analysis computer program.

American Urological Association, Ohio State Medical Association, Sexual Medicine Society

Men's Health, Journal of Urology, Urology, Healthwatch Magazine, Emergency Medicine Monthly, eMedicine, "The Kidney Stones Handbook", and numerous articles in various newspapers. He is also the editor of the Urology Board Review by McGraw-Hill used by urologists to study for their Board Certification Examinations.

Graduate of New York Medical College with residencies completed at Metropolitan Hospital New York, Albany Medical Center and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Awards and Honors
Thirlby Award of the American Urological Association. Rated as one the country's Best Urologists by the Independent Consumer's Research Institute

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