Hydrocele: Frequently Asked Questions
What is a hydrocele or hernia?
A hydrocele is a collection of fluid around the testicle. In children, this fluid comes down from the normal fluid that is present in the abdomen into a balloon-like structure around the testicle (called the "tunica vaginalis"). The neck of this balloon runs along the spermatic cord and opens into the abdomen. Normally, this neck closes off by itself within the first year of life. If it does not close off, it continues to let fluid come through and it may enlarge. ...
What is the treatment for hydrocele?
Hydroceles do not usually go away without treatment, but fortunately most hydroceles require no treatment. If the hydrocele is not causing pain or is not so large that clothing is uncomfortable or unsightly, the hydrocele can be left alone.
What is the cause of hydrocele?
The testicle exudes, or sweats, a small amount of fluid (not sperm) from its outside covering and the sac normally reabsorbs this fluid. Under certain circumstances -- such as previous trauma or infection, but usually for no reason at all -- this sac has difficulty reabsorbing the fluid. This results in a build-up of the fluid in the sac; thus, the hydrocele. Although the hydrocele is very rarely caused by a cancer or serious infection of the testicle, it is important that the cause of the hydrocele be investigated. ...
What does the operation for a hydrocele entail?
It is exactly the same as that for a hernia. -DR.R. Sanjay Rao, Consultant Paediatric Surgeon.
Who Requires a Hydrocele Operation?
Any adult who has a moderate or large sized hydrocele will require a hydrocele operation procedure. If left untreated, the hydrocele will become enlarged and cause pain, discomfort, swelling, infection, or serious illness. Simply draining off the liquid using needles will result in more liquid accumulating within two months.
Can a hydrocele recur after surgery?
Recurrence is very uncommon after surgery. However large hydroceles can be difficult to treat and may recur after surgery. If surgery is not successful, then sclerosing agents can be considered.
Can a child have both Hernia and a Hydrocele ?
Yes they can. Normally the testis develops inside the abdomen. Just before delivery of the baby, the testis comes down into the scrotum. For this to happen, there exists a connection between the abdomen and the scrotum known as the processus vaginalis. This connection usually closes off around the time of birth. In some children, it remains open. Intestines can then move into the connection and appear as a hernia. If the opening of the processus vaginalis is very small it does not permit the intestine to come thorough. ...
Who should be consulted to treat a hydrocele?
You can consult a General Surgeon or Urologist.
How do I know if my child has a hydrocele or hernia?
A parent usually notices a hydrocele or hernia by detecting a bulge or swelling in the scrotum or above this in the groin. If this bulge gets bigger and smaller, it suggests that the opening is big enough to permit free flow of the fluid in and out of the tunica vaginalis. Girls can also get hernias and the bulge or swelling will be noted along the outside of the vagina in the labia.
Are there other Hydrocele treatments than the ones you rank?
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My son is 10 months old. The diagnosis is tense hydrocele of the left testis. Surgical treatment is recommended. How long can we wait?
If it is really tense hydrocele, it is an indication for an urgent operation.
Two weeks ago we were discharged from maternity hospital. The child's diagnosis is scrotal hydrocele. At what age is it better to perform this operation?
Take your time. Many children of this age have physiological hydrocele that disappears by itself up to 1 - 1,5 years.
Our child is 4,5 years old. In kindergarten scrotal hydrocele was diagnosed and we were told that it could be treated with the help of homeopathic medicine. Is that so?
If a child of this age has scrotal hydrocele the only method of treatment is a surgical one.
Is some operation like hydrocele, fistula etc is possible?
There is a common confusion about the procedures possible through laparoscopic method. We are getting letters from many patients asking about laparoscopic procedure for hydrocoele, Fistula ano, abscesses, and even for procedure like circumcision, mastectomy, cysts and abortion. It should be understand clearly that minimal access surgery is possible inside hollow closed cavities of the body, like abdomen and chest. ...
A child of 11 months old has undergone 4 testis punctures within 6 months on account of hydrocele on the right. But fluid continues to accumulate. How often can this procedure be done?
This constant hydrocele recurrence is an indication for surgical treatment.