25+ Hydrocele Useful FAQs

What is a hydrocele?

A hydrocele is a sac filled with fluid that forms around a testicle. Hydrocelectomy is surgery to remove a hydrocele. About 10% of males are born with a hydrocele. Hydroceles are most common in babies however they can affect males of any age. Hydroceles are usually painless and disappear without any treatment.

Secondary hydrocele testis is secondary to either inflammation or a neoplasm in the scrotum. Hydrocele can affect both sides but it usually occurs on one side. The flooding of fluid can be a marker of physical trauma, tumor, infection, or varicocele surgery. Clear fluid accumulates between the two layers of the tunica vaginalis that surrounds the testicle.

What does a hydrocele look like?

A hydrocele may look like a water-filled balloon on one side or both sides of the scrotum. Mostly it is painless however the swollen scrotum may cause some discomfort. The scrotum becomes swollen and feels very heavy due to large hydroceles.

What are the symptoms of a hydrocele?

Symptoms of a hydrocele:

The only symptom of hydrocele is a swollen scrotum. They usually don’t cause any pain. Another symptom of hydrocele is a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum. The swelling might be worse in the morning than in the evening.

What causes a hydrocele?

A hydrocele can form due to an inflammation within the scrotum. Infection in the testicle or epididymitis can be the leading cause of this inflammation. Hydrocele may also develop as a result of injury to the testicles. A hydrocele can be produced in 4 following ways:

  1. By defective absorption of fluid,
  2. Secondary hydrocele: Excessive production of fluid within the sac,
  3. Interference with lymphatic drainage of scrotal structures,
  4. By connection with a hernia of the peritoneal cavity in the congenital variety, which presents as hydrocele of the cord.

What causes hydrocele in toddlers?

Hydroceles are common in infants. It is caused by fluid that builds up in the scrotum. When a child grows by the age of 0ne year, the hydrocele may disappear by itself. Older boys can get hydroceles due to an injury, infection, or inflammation of the scrotum.

Can heavy lifting cause hydrocele?

Hernias are common in older adult males. Hernia can happen from pressure, heavy lifting, and straining during bowel movements. The intestine may come out through a weak spot in the groin or abdominal wall due to this pressure. Obesity, sneezing, and coughing can also cause pressure on the intestines and result in such conditions.

Can I exercise with a hydrocele?

After hydroelectric surgery, you can turn to your normal daily life within a week. But you must avoid weight lifting, heavy exercise, sports activity, and strenuous exercise for at least for 3-to 4 weeks.

Is hydrocele hereditary?

There is not much evidence about the hereditary nature of hydroceles and hernias yet some hernias and hydroceles seem to run in families.

Can a hydrocele go away on itself?

In adults, hydroceles typically go away within six months. A hydrocele surgery only if it causes discomfort. In infants, a hydrocele will probably go away in about a year without any treatment. Communicating hydrocele can lead to hernias so they need a surgical treatment otherwise a hydrocele is not painful. A communicating hydrocele is more common in infants and children.

What are the complications linked to hydrocele?

Complications:

Complications are often diagnosed after surgical operation. Complications such as drainage, infection, formation of hematocele, or ruptures are observed not only after the operation but also for 1 to 6 weeks during follow-up on an outpatient basis. These complications may include:

  • Herniation of the hydrocele sac.
  • Infection may lead to pyocele.
  • Atrophy of testis in long-standing cases.
  • Acute hemorrhage into the tunica vaginalis sometimes results from testicular trauma.
  • The sac may calcify.
  • Rupture usually occurs as a result of trauma but may be spontaneous.
  • Severe infection can be introduced by aspiration of the hydrocele.
  • Clotted hematocele may usually result if the haematocele is not drained.
  • Postherniorrhaphy hydrocele is a relatively rare complication of inguinal hernia repair.
  • Transformation into a haematocele may result due to spontaneous bleeding into the sac or trauma.
  • Clotted hydrocele may result from a slow spontaneous ooze of blood into the tunica vaginalis.

Can a hydrocele cause cancer?

Rarely, a hydrocele may occur with testicular cancer or cancer of the left kidney. This type of hydrocele is most common in men older than 40. However, it can occur at any age.

Hydrocele_hydroelectomy_surgery
Hydrocele hydroelectomy surgery

Difference between a Hydrocele and a Hernia

Is a hydrocele a hernia? How can you tell the difference between a hydrocele and a hernia?

The abdomen and the groin have a passage between them that normally closes before the baby is born. Hernia or hydrocele can result if this passage does not close. A hydrocele is a collection of fluid in the scrotum around the testicle. One sign of a hernia is when a child has a “bulge” in the groin, or boys, the scrotum. Hernia and hydrocele are the same pathological situations.

What is the best treatment for hydrocele? Can you drain a hydrocele yourself?

Hydrocele Treatment

A hydrocoele is treated in two ways:

  • (1) Surgery
  • (2) Aspiration is not the common treatment for hydroceles. A needle is inserted into the hydrocoele and the fluid is aspirated with the help of the needle. When surgery is too risky then aspiration is performed.

Does draining a hydrocele hurt?

A hydrocele itself is not painful. However, if it increases in size then one can feel discomfort or irritation. Increased weight of the swollen scrotum also causes discomfort.

How much does it cost to drain a hydrocele?

The cost of a Hydrocele Drainage ranges from $1,030 to $1,538.

What is the fluid in a hydrocele?

Serous fluid accumulates in a body cavity to form a hydrocele. A hydrocele testis is the accumulation of fluids around the testis. It is often caused by fluid secreted from tunica vaginalis which is a remnant piece of peritoneum wrapped around the testicle.

Is hydrocele bad?

Hydroceles usually doesn’t cause pain but large ones may cause discomfort and irritation. Any aggressive activity may cause discomfort if you have a very large hydrocele. Walking or sexual activity may also be difficult to perform due to large hydroceles.

What happens if the hydrocele is not treated?

If a communicating hydrocele is not treated, it can lead to an inguinal hernia. It is a condition in which the intestine or intestinal fat pushes through the inguinal canal in the groin.

Is a hydrocele dangerous? Is a hydrocele an emergency?

A hydrocele typically isn’t a dangerous but serious condition that needs emergency surgery to prevent having to have the testicle removed. A hydrocele causes serious complications such as infection, tumor, or testicular torsion. The scrotum is enlarged and it is not tender or painful. A hydrocele usually doesn’t affect fertility.

Can hydroceles be prevented?

If you prevent yourself from injuries to the testicles then hydroceles can be prevented. You must wear a protective athletic cup during sports or other aggressive activities. If you avoid any trauma to the testicles, then you are in the safe zone. Hydroceles in infants cannot be prevented, however.

Types of Hydrocele

Are there any types of hydroceles?

Hydrocele has 2 types which are:

  1. Communicating
  2. Noncommunicating

Communicating hydrocele

A communicating hydrocele occurs when the sac surrounding your testicle doesn’t close all the way. This allows fluid to flow in and out.

Noncommunicating hydrocele

Noncommunicating hydroceles occur when the sac surrounding your testicle closes, but your body doesn’t absorb the fluid. The remaining fluid is absorbed into the body within a year.

Different Kinds of Hydroceles

  1. What are the different kinds of a hydrocele?
  2. What do you mean by primary hydrocele?
  3. What is a secondary hydrocele?
  4. What is Infantile hydroceles?
  5. What is the Encysted hydrocele of the cord?

Primary hydroceles

These hydroceles contain a large amount of fluid. The swelling is soft and non-tender. Primary hydroceles are painless and are often ignored however the long-continued presence of large hydroceles causes atrophy of the testis due to compression or by obstructing blood supply.

Secondary hydroceles

A secondary hydrocele subsides when the primary lesion resolves. It is usually lax and of moderate size: the underlying testis is palpable. Secondary hydrocele is most frequently associated with acute or chronic epididymal-orchitis, testicular torsion, and testicular tumors. Secondary hydrocele can be due to testicular diseases, trauma, cancer, hernia, orchitis and can also occur in infants undergoing peritoneal dialysis.

Infantile hydroceles

In infants, a hydrocoele is usually an expression of a patent processus vaginalis (PPV). The processus vaginalis and tunica are distended to the inguinal ring but there is no connection with the peritoneal cavity.

Encysted hydrocele of the cord

There is a smooth oval swelling near the spermatic cord. If the testis is pulled gently downwards, the swelling moves downwards and becomes less mobile. Encysted hydrocele of the cord transilluminates.

What are some diseases that are associated with hydrocele?

Associated diseases of hydrocele are:

  1. Cystic fibrosis
  2. Cryptorchid testis
  3. Inguinal hernia
  4. Epididymal-orchitis
  5. Hypospadias
  6. Liver disease with ascites
  7. Testicular cancer
  8. Testicular atrophy

Can hydrocele cause groin pain?

Hydrocele is a fluid buildup that causes swelling of the scrotum. Epididymitis is a testicle inflammation.

Groin pain and testicular pain are two different things but sometimes testicle pain can spread to the groin area.

What is the reason for hydrocele?

A hydrocele can develop as a result of inflammation or injury to the scrotum. Infection in the testicle or epididymitis may cause such inflammation.

Will a hydrocele get bigger? Do Hydroceles get bigger?

Hydroceles usually grow slowly. Normally, hydrocele does not get bigger or smaller. But communicating hydrocele gets bigger and smaller. Such a hydrocele needs surgery.

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