A hydrocele is a fluid-filled sac surrounding a testicle that causes swelling in the scrotum. Mostly common in babies, this condition can also develop in adult men due to inflammation or injury. Hydroceles are usually painless and harmless but can cause discomfort due to their size.

What is a Hydrocele?

Hydroceles occur when fluid accumulates in the thin sheath surrounding a testicle, leading to swelling of the scrotum. There are two types of hydroceles: congenital and acquired. Congenital hydroceles are present at birth and often resolve on their own during the first year of life. Acquired hydroceles develop later in life due to injury or infection within the scrotum.

Symptoms of Hydrocele

  • Swelling in the Scrotum: This is the most common sign of a hydrocele. The swelling may be painless and vary in size.
  • A Feeling of Heaviness: A hydrocele can give a sensation of heaviness in the scrotum.
  • Discomfort: Larger hydroceles may cause discomfort but are not typically painful.

Causes of Hydrocele

  • In Newborns: Hydroceles in newborns occur when the fluid that surrounds the testicle is not completely absorbed by the body.
  • In Adults: Hydroceles can develop as a result of inflammation or injury within the scrotum. Other causes include infections such as epididymitis or sexually transmitted infections.

Diagnosing Hydrocele

A diagnosis of hydrocele can often be made based on a physical examination. The doctor may check for tenderness in the scrotum and shine a light through the scrotum (transillumination) to determine if the mass is solid or filled with fluid. Further diagnostic tests may include:

  • Ultrasound: To rule out hernias, testicular tumours, or other causes of scrotal swelling.
  • Blood Tests and Urine Tests: To check for infections or underlying health issues.

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Treatment Options for Hydrocele



Relieve discomfort with Hydrocele treatment by our skilled Urology surgeon. Benefit from personalized care and advanced techniques for optimal results. Trust Electiva for private, comprehensive solutions tailored to your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How common is a hydrocele?

Hydroceles are quite common in newborn males but usually resolve without treatment within the first year. Adult males can also develop hydroceles, typically due to injury or infection.

Is a hydrocele dangerous?

A hydrocele itself is not dangerous and is usually painless. However, it’s important to diagnose it correctly to ensure that it’s not a sign of another, more serious condition like testicular cancer.

Can a hydrocele lead to infertility?

A hydrocele does not affect fertility unless it’s associated with an underlying condition that could impair testicular function.

What is the recovery like after hydrocelectomy?

Recovery from hydrocelectomy is usually straightforward. Patients can often go home the same day and might need to wear a supportive garment for a short period. Full recovery typically occurs within a week, with many returning to normal activities shortly after.

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