Hydrocelectomy

A hydrocele is a collection of fluid in the scrotum.  The sac is in the spermatic cord that covers the anterior aspect of the testicle.

About hydroceles:

Most hydroceles develop for no apparent reason, or they can be the result of an inflammatory process or injury.  Rarely, a hydrocele is due to an underlying problem associated with a testicle.

Symptoms of a hydrocele:

A hydrocele is a nontender fluid filled sac that will be seen or felt.  The scrotum will be swollen.

How we diagnose a hydrocele:

A hydrocele is diagnosed on physical exam by the doctor.  The scrotum is enlarged, but not tender or painful.  A hydrocele feels like a small smooth fluid filled balloon.  If needed, the doctor may want an ultrasound of the testicle to help diagnose the hydrocele.

How we treat a hydrocele:

The hydrocele is treated by removing the fluid from the sac.  The fluid may be removed ("aspirated") in the office, or the doctor may recommend a hydrocelectomy, the surgical removal of the fluid filled sack.  Your doctor will recommend the best treatment option for you. 

A hydrocelectomy is performed in an outpatient setting.  It is performed under general anesthesia, taking approximately an hour.  The operation involves making a small incision in the scrotum to drain the fluid around the testicle.

Recovery after hydrocelectomy:

After the surgery, the patient is observed in the recovery area and is discharged home the same day. Generally, there is mild discomfort that is managed with over-the-counter pain reliever, such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol.  This medicine will help with swelling and pain.  You may also be encouraged to wear an athletic supporter. 

Men can expect to return to normal activity in approximately 4 weeks.  One should avoid strenuous exercise, heavy lifting, or pushing. 

Though rare, a hydrocele may return after surgical treatment.

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Treatments:

  • Fluid removal

  • Hydrocelectomy

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