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Hydrocele Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment Plans
- Hydrocele in men is a type of swelling that occurs in the scrotum (the thin sac of skin that contains the testicles) when there is excessive fluid build-up.
- A left hydrocele/ right hydrocele is more common in boys aged 2-5 years and men above 40 years of age. Babies that are born prematurely are more likely to have a hydrocele.
- One of the most common Hydrocele Symptoms is scrotal swelling. Hydrocele in adults can cause discomfort/ feeling of heaviness due to the swelling.
- Hydrocele pain requires medical attention if it is severe and prolonged. If hydrocele pain interferes with your everyday life, consult a urologist to get it diagnosed immediately.
- Based on your Hydrocele diagnosis, the urologist will suggest a suitable Hydrocele treatment plan to remove it.
Chapter 1: What is Hydrocele? What are the various Hydrocele symptoms?
Hydrocele in men is a type of swelling that occurs in the scrotum (the thin sac of skin that contains the testicles) when there is excessive fluid build-up. While hydrocele in children, especially newborns, are very common; it can affect males of any age. A left hydrocele/ right hydrocele is more common in boys aged 2-5 years and men above 40 years of age. Hydrocele in adults may be caused due to inflammation or injury in the scrotum.
Generally, a hydrocele isn’t harmful, and in some cases, hydrocele symptoms do not require extensive treatment. Most often, hydrocele in babies disappear on their own. However, it is still advisable to consult a urologist to get a correct diagnostic evaluation to rule out other causes of scrotal swelling.
- One of the most common Hydrocele Symptoms is scrotal swelling.
- Hydrocele in adults can cause discomfort/ feeling of heaviness due to the swelling.
- Scrotal pain/ Hydrocele pain may increase with the size of the inflammation.
If you or your child experiences severe scrotal pain/ swelling, consult a urologist immediately. It is imperative to rule out other causes of scrotal swelling that may require immediate treatment. Sudden and severe scrotal pain may be due to other conditions, such as a twisted testicle (testicular torsion), and will require urgent scrotal pain treatment.
It’s understandable to be concerned if you or your child experience Hydrocele Symptoms. Early diagnosis is key to treating scrotal hydrocele effectively. In any case, it is crucial to seek out proper medical care for Hydrocele in children and adults. Consulting a urologist can help identify the Hydrocele causes. In addition to this, a regular full-body health checkup once a year can help understand the state of yours and your child’s health and the areas that require improvement. You can have an online doctor consultation on MFine, or you can avail of a comprehensive health check-up package or a specific condition-based health package depending on your lifestyle factors, dietary factors , age, and existing medical conditions if there are any.
Chapter 2: What are the different Hydrocele Causes?
Hydrocele in newborns:
In a developing foetus, the testicles descend from the abdomen to the scrotum. As mentioned previously, the scrotum is a thin sac of skin that holds the testicles. While descending, a naturally occurring sac accompanies each testicle and contains fluid. Usually, the sac closes and fluid in scrotum gets absorbed by the baby’s body within the first year.
- If the sac closes and the fluid remains without being absorbed, it is called a non-communicating hydrocele.
- If the sac does not close, it can allow the fluid to flow back into the abdomen. This is called communicating hydrocele. This type of hydrocele is often associated with an inguinal hernia.
Babies that are born prematurely are more likely to have a hydrocele.
Hydrocele in adults/ older males:
Hydrocele in men can occur as a result of:
- An injury in the scrotum, or
- Inflammation in the scrotum. Causes of scrotal swelling may happen due to an infection in the testicle, or an infection in the tube located behind the testicle. (epididymitis)
Complications of hydrocele:
While hydrocele pain is not a significant cause for concern, it might be associated with other underlying conditions that may require immediate treatment. These include:
- Inguinal Hernia: This occurs when fatty/ intestinal tissues push through a weak spot in your abdominal wall near the inguinal canal.
- Infection: Bacterial infections, STIs, and fungal infections can cause scrotal swelling and pain.
- Tumour: It is important to look out for any lumps in the region. While it may be small, it can grow into something larger. If you feel a lump in your testicle, be sure to consult a urologist immediately.
Chapter 3: How is the Hydrocele diagnosis performed?
Hydrocele pain requires medical attention if it is severe and prolonged. If hydrocele pain interferes with your everyday life, consult a urologist to get it diagnosed immediately.
During the examination, the urologist will understand your hydrocele symptoms by asking questions about the severity and occurrence of the same. Next, the doctor will perform a physical examination of the scrotum to get an accurate Hydrocele diagnosis.
The urologist will also recommend the following tests to gain a better understanding of your Hydrocele causes.
- Complete blood count (CBC) blood test
- Ultrasound scan
- Scrotal scan
- Doppler ultrasound scan
These tests will help rule out other possible causes of scrotal swelling, before discussing hydrocele treatment options.
Chapter 4: What are the Hydrocele treatment options?
1. Hydrocele Operation/ Surgery
Hydrocele in infants usually disappears on their own within a year. Left hydrocele may need to be surgically removed if:
- It does not go away on its own
- Causes discomfort/ severe hydrocele pain
- It is a communicating hydrocele, as it may lead to the formation of a hernia
Hydrocele operation is performed under anesthesia and in most cases, the patient will be discharged in just a few hours. The procedure is referred to as a Hydrocelectomy. Depending on the location of your hydrocele, a small incision is made and the hydrocele is removed. You may require a drainage tube for a few days based on the size of the hydrocele.
You may experience some level of discomfort post-surgery, but in most cases, the scrotal pain goes away in just one week. You can incorporate the following hydrocele home treatment options post-surgery:
- Using a cold compress. This can reduce the pain and swelling by restricting blood flow to the affected area. You may simply use a cloth dipped in cold water to apply to the region.
- Wearing a scrotal support strap during recovery. This can also help in alleviating pain and swelling.
- Using pain medications. However, remember to only consume pain medicines as directed by your doctor only.
- Taking plenty of rest. It is important to avoid strenuous activities/ exercise for at least 3 weeks post-surgery.
2. Needle Aspiration
Needle aspiration is a type of hydrocele treatment without surgery. Most often, this procedure is performed when the patient is at risk for developing complications post-surgery. During this procedure, a thin needle is injected to remove the fluid in scrotum. In rare cases, a drug is injected to prevent fluid build-up in the future. This type of hydrocele treatment without surgery may cause temporary pain and carries the risk of infection.
Chapter 5: Consulting a Hydrocele doctor/ specialist on MFine
Hydrocele symptoms can be effectively managed and treated. The correct diagnosis is the key to receiving appropriate Hydrocele treatment. A urologist can best diagnose scrotal pain and suggest the way forward based on the severity of your condition alongside your body type, dietary factors, and other lifestyle factors. If you face severe hydrocele symptoms, you must see a urologist right away. At MFine, we enable the patients to live a healthier life with modern medical services.
We ensure that the best hydrocele treatment programs are made available to our patients for every stage of the condition. Get in touch with our team of highly-qualified doctors and healthcare professionals for any medical advice or assistance. We, at MFine, provide you with a holistic healthcare treatment program as per your bodily needs and requirements. You can also check our MFine app for a list of the best urologists in your city with whom you can chat or video call to get answers for your medical queries!
Frequently Asked Questions:
What happens if hydrocele is not treated?
Untreated hydrocele in adults can result in increased inflammation, size, and discomfort. If a communicating hydrocele is left untreated, it may lead to the formation of an inguinal hernia. This occurs when fatty/ intestinal tissues push through a weak spot in your abdominal wall near the inguinal canal.
How painful is hydrocele surgery?
Most often, patients experience discomfort and lower abdominal/ scrotal pain for 2-3 weeks after hydrocele operation. You may experience swelling and tiredness as well. To decrease the pain, urologists recommend taking plenty of rest and applying a cold compress on the affected region. If the pain is severe, they may prescribe you pain medications as well.
Does hydrocele affect sperm?
While hydrocele pain is not a significant cause for concern, it might be associated with other underlying conditions that may require immediate treatment. For instance, if you have an infection/ tumour, this may affect your sperm production. Discuss with a urologist to get an accurate hydrocele diagnosis.
How do I book an appointment with a urologist online?
To schedule an online doctor consultation, download the MFine app, search for a urologist online, and fill out your details. You can then get in touch with top urologists online from the comfort of your home. You can discuss your health concerns comfortably as MFine takes your privacy very seriously. With a safe and secure platform, we ensure that the discussions between you and your doctor strictly remain confidential.
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