Hydroceles

A hydrocele can diagnosis can be diagnosed by one of our BUA Urologists. They will examine the scrotum may offer you an ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis.

What is hydroceles?

Symptoms and causes

A hydrocele is a collection of fluid in the scrotum that causes a swelling which is soft but often painless. It is a common condition in newborns but can occur in people of all ages. The swelling may be uncomfortable because it makes the scrotum bigger and can be unsightly but is often painless and is generally not considered to be dangerous. If the hydrocele becomes too large or causes a level of discomfort then surgery may be recommended to remove the hydrocele.

The most common symptom of a hydrocele is the enlargement of your scrotum. Other potential symptoms can include pain and swelling of the scrotum.

Usually, the cause of a hydrocele is unknown. Sometimes hydroceles can result from an injury or infection or, very rarely, because of testicular cancer.

You may be sent for blood tests and further imaging of your testicles which will help to show for the rare sign of testicular cancer.

  • "The treatment I received at Bristol Urology was outstanding. From the initial consultation through to my procedure I always felt that I was in safe hands."

    Mr D. Smith
  • Excellent as always!

    Mr J. Bloggs

Diagnosis

Treatments

A hydrocele can diagnosis can be diagnosed by one of our BUA Urologists. They will examine the scrotum may offer you an ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis. They may use a technique known as transillumination where a light is shone behind both testicles to check for solid masses that could be caused by other issues such as testicular cancer. You may be sent for blood tests and further imaging of your testicles which will help to show for the rare sign of testicular cancer.

In some cases, the hydrocele will go away on its own within six to 12 months. Sometimes, the fluid can be removed with a needle and syringe, but this doesn’t offer a permanent cure.

A persistent hydrocele is best removed with surgery (hydrocelectomy) to ensure it does not come back. Hydrocele surgery is usually done using local anaesthesia. This means you will be awake throughout the procedure. The operation is carried out as an outpatient procedure, and can be done at the BUA clinic. It is carried out by making a small incision in your scrotum. The fluid is drained from around the testicle, and the resulting space is sewn together using dissolvable stitches. This procedure usually lasts about 15 to 20 minutes. The procedure can also be done under a general anaesthetic as a day case (with no overnight stay) at the Spire or Nuffield Hospitals.

The consultants at the BUA have years of experience in treating Hydroceles and can advise on the best treatment methods for your particular situation. Same day appointments are often available by contacting our Patient Coordinator on 0117 9804118.