What is a Hydrocoele?
A hydrocoele is an abnormal collection of fluid in the sac in which the testis sit inside the scrotum. It usually causes a swelling in the scrotum that becomes obvious over a period of time. It usually occurs due to a defect in the reabsorption of the fluid, which is produced normally by the membranes.
Many men develop a hydrocele – they do not cause any harm, they are usually asymptomatic and rarely indicate any serious underlying condition. Most men will have an ultrasound of the scrotum to exclude any other pathology.
When do I need repair of hydrocoele?
Most men will never require surgery to their hydrocele.
There are a number of reasons why a hydrocele repair might be necessary:
The hydrocoele causes pain or discomfort.
The fluid collection is large enough to be a nuisance or embarrassing.
It has become infected – quite rare.
Aspiration – inserting a needle into the hydrocele in order to drain off the fluid. Usually returns over the following weeks or months.
How is it performed?
The operation is performed under a light general anaesthetic as a day case. You usually go home a few hours after recovery from the anaesthetic.
A short cut is made in the mid-line of the scrotum. The fluid is drained and the “sac” oversewn to minimize the chance of recurrence. The wound is closed with dissolving skin stitches.
A dressing is put over the wound. You may also have a bandage supporting both testes to help minimise any swelling.
After the Operation
You will usually be discharged a few hours after the procedure. The sutures will be dissolving. The following is general advice after any scrotal surgery:
You may shower but do not soak in a bath or go swimming for about a week.
Good scrotal support will minimize discomfort e.g. 2 pairs of “jockey” underwear.
Cold pack to area (through a cloth) – 30 minutes at a time every 4hrs for the first post-operative day.
Possible Side Effects
Most procedures are straightforward; however as with any surgical procedure there is a chance of side effects or complications.
Blood collection around the testes (haematoma), which resolves slowly. This rarely requires further surgery.
Infection of the testes or incision requiring antibiotics.
Recurrence of fluid collection.
Chronic pain in the testicle or scrotum.