A hydrocele is a fluid filled sac surrounding the testicle.
Hydroceles are common in newborns, but most disappear without treatment in the first year of life. Older boys and adults can develop a hydrocele due to inflammation, injury or often without any clear provoking cause. A hydrocele usually isn't painful and is not harmful. If it causes discomfort then the hydrocele can be treated.
Treatment approaches include:
- Surgical excision (hydrocelectomy)
- Performed under a general anaesthetic via a small scrotal incision as a day-stay procedure. Surgery is the most definitive way to treat a hydrocele.
- Needle aspiration
- Performed in the office with a needle and syringe. Following aspiration a drug is injected into the scrotum, which leads to scarring around the testicle and helps prevent the fluid from re-accumulating.
- I recommend surgical excision due to the very high chance of cure. Injection therapy may not resolve the hydrocele and may make subsequent surgical repair more difficult.
Aspirin, clopidogrel, dabigatran, warfarin and any other blood thinning medications will need to be stopped prior to surgery. We will advise you on the timing of when to stop and re-start these medications.
There will be some swelling and bruising of the scrotum which takes several weeks to resolve. Wearing supportive underwear helps to reduce discomfort.
Regular analgesics will be prescribed for pain relief: Paracetamol and Ibuprofen.
- Bleeding - uncommon however may require re-opening of the wound if a significant amount of blood accumulates
- Wound infection - uncommon
- Damage to the vas deferent or epididymis leading to impaired fertility
- Re-accumulation of the hydrocele