A hydrocele is a sac filled with fluid surrounding the testicle. While they usually occur in babies, they can also occur in adult men as a result of infection, inflammation, or injury.
Hydroceles typically do not pose any threat to the testicle and generally do not cause symptoms like pain. If they enlarge they can cause a ‘heaviness’ and in extreme cases make it difficult to engage in some activities of daily living.
Diagnosis is usually made on physical examination, and sometimes ultrasound can be used for confirmation. Any patient with any swelling of the scrotum ought to see their primary physician or urologist promptly to ensure there is no other ongoing problem.
Treatment usually isn’t necessary, but if it is, may involve surgery to remove the fluid filled sac around the testicle. In select few cases – particularly if the patient is not healthy enough for surgery – the fluid can be drained with a needle.