Hydrocele of the testicle. Types and treatment

Hydrocele of the testicle. Types and treatment

Hydrocele, also known as a water sac of the testicle, can be congenital or develop in older age or in an adult male. In congenital hydrocele (also called primary hydrocele), the membrane over the scrotum does not close properly, allowing fluid from the abdominal cavity to seep into the testicles.

Congenital hydrocele often resolves over a certain period of time after birth because the body usually expels the fluid on its own.

Acquired hydrocele in childhood or adulthood (also called secondary hydrocele) can have different causes, such as:

  • Hernias
  • Blunt force, such as kicks or punches
  • Surgeries
  • Inflammation of the testicle, epididymis, or spermatic cord
  • Testicular torsion
  • Testicular tumors

However, the cause of acquired hydrocele is not always identifiable, and it can sometimes occur without apparent reasons.

Diagnosis and treatment of hydrocele are mandatory, as it can sometimes mask a more serious condition.

Treatment of hydrocele of the testicle is a surgical procedure known as hydrocelectomy. Hydrocelectomy is performed to remove the swelling of the scrotum caused by the accumulation of fluid in the testicle, i.e., the hydrocele. Treatment in Switzerland is renowned for its highly qualified surgeons who can quickly and safely relieve you or your child of hydrocele.

What are the symptoms of hydrocele of the testicle?                                                                                                                   

Most commonly, hydrocele presents as swelling of the scrotum. It may feel firm and elastic but usually does not cause pain. However, depending on the size, it can impede movement.

In congenital hydrocele, the swelling increases when the child is held upright or cries. When lying down, it typically reduces in size.

How is hydrocele diagnosed?

To detect hydrocele, doctors examine the affected scrotum by assessing the size of the swelling and whether it appears distended and elastic. They also inquire about any accidents or specific medical conditions. Ultrasonography is commonly used for an accurate diagnosis.

During a medical examination and ultrasound, other conditions such as varicocele (enlarged veins in the testicles), testicular torsion, or testicular cancer can be ruled out. Special laboratory tests are available for differentiation in the case of cancer.

Treatment of congenital hydrocele

If a congenital hydrocele in a newborn is not too large, it usually does not require immediate treatment. The development of congenital hydrocele is monitored for several months, sometimes even up to the age of two. In most cases, the connection between the abdominal cavity and the scrotum closes on its own during this time, and the body reabsorbs the accumulated fluid.

If this does not happen, the opening is surgically closed during the second or third year of life. If the problems are very serious, an earlier operation may be recommended.

Treatment of acquired hydrocele

In the case of acquired hydrocele in adult men, surgery for hydrocele of the testicle is necessary. After the hydrocele of the testicle operation, the patient does not need to stay in the hospital for long. However, after leaving the hospital, he should follow some simple rules. First and foremost, after the hydrocele of the testicle operation, the man should lead a gentle lifestyle for several weeks, as there may be swelling and discomfort in the scrotum during this time. Therefore, the man should avoid wearing tight underwear and physical exertion. This will help the pain and swelling in the scrotum disappear much faster. About a week after the operation, the man should visit a surgical clinic for a check-up.