A hydrocele develops when fluid gets accumulated in the sac around the testicles (scrotum). A hydrocele usually appears as a soft swelling in the scrotal membranes. In most cases, hydrocele is not painful and does not damage the testicles. Hydrocele usually occurs on only one side, but in 7-10 percent of the cases, both sides are affected by the hydrocele.
The main symptom of hydrocele, in the majority of the cases, is swelling in the scrotum. As the fluid gets accumulated in the hydrocele, its size grows and it appears enlarged. In some cases, along with the hydrocele, inflammation in the epididymis is also present. In such cases, the testes may also get inflamed and you may experience severe pain. You may also face some discomfort due to the enlargement of the scrotum.
Hydroceles are fairly common in baby boys. Nearly 10 percent of baby boys have the condition from birth. This is called a congenital hydrocele. Congenital hydrocele occurs due to the abnormal development of the scrotal region during gestation. Due to this abnormality, the abdominal fluid can enter the scrotum, thereby causing hydroceles. In such cases, the problem can get resolved by itself when the opening between the abdomen gets closed.
However, in adult men, the problem is not very common and affects only 1 percent of them. Non-congenital cases of hydrocele occur due to scarring, injuries, and trauma.
If you are experiencing pain, swelling, redness, and soreness in your scrotal region, do not take it casually. Also, do not worry as hydroceles are completely curable. Consult a specialist doctor so that you can get the treatment best suited for your condition.
Treatment options for Hydrocele
Although a number of non-surgical treatments to provide symptomatic relief from the hydrocele, in some serious cases surgical treatment is necessary.
One such temporary treatment for hydroceles is aspiration with sclerotherapy. In the procedure of sclerotherapy, the doctor inserts a needle into the scrotum. The needle is then directed towards the hydrocele. The doctor then applies suction and drains out as much fluid as possible. The success rate of aspiration can be increased by injecting certain medicines during the procedure. This is called aspiration with sclerotherapy. This treatment is usually successful, but it only provides temporary relief and the chances of recurrence of hydrocele are very high.
Conventional medicine has always considered hydrocele to be a surgical issue. The only permanent solution of hydroceles is the surgical procedure of hydrocelectomy.
Hydrocelectomy can be of two types:
- Conventional Hydrocelectomy (Open Surgery)
- Laser Hydrocelectomy
Let’s now get an insight into each of these procedures:
Conventional Hydrocelectomy (Open Surgery)
Open surgery is the conventional method of hydrocele surgery. In the open surgery, the doctor administers the patient with anesthesia. Then incisions are made either to the scrotum or the groin. Suction is used to drain the fluid out. The doctor then closes the opening between the abdomen and the scrotum. Also, the hydrocele sac is removed and then the doctor closes the incision with stitches and sutures.
Based on the condition of the hydrocele, two different methods are used in conventional hydrocelectomy. These are:
Hydrocelectomy with excision of the hydrocele sac:
This procedure is useful in cases when the hydrocele is large and has thick walls and a lot of chambers(multilocular). In this procedure, incisions to the scrotum are made after the complete mobilization of the hydrocele. Care is taken that the epididymis and the ducts are not affected in the process. After the procedure, the edges of the sac are sewn behind the sperm cord.
Hydrocelectomy with Plication of the hydrocele sac:
This is performed for hydroceles that are medium-sized and have thin walls. Without any other preparation, a small incision is made and the hydrocele is opened. After that, the hydrocele is reduced and the incision is sewed up with sutures. It involves lesser dissection and has a lesser complication rate than excision.
The aforementioned procedures of open surgery involve a lot of intraoperative bleeding. Also, open surgery inflicts a lot of pain. The recovery period is longer and you would not be able to go back to your routine life for about 4-6 weeks. Also, since a lot of stitches and wounds are involved, the risk of infections is high.
Laser hydrocelectomy is the better and more advanced option for the surgery of hydroceles.
With the advancement in the field of technology and medical sciences, the technique of laser-based hydrocelectomy has been developed. It is a modern procedure for hydrocelectomy. This procedure is performed under the influence of anesthesia.
In laser hydrocelectomy, a high-intensity laser beam is used for making an incision in the scrotal region. The surgeon then removes the fluid and removes the hydrocele sac to prevent the recurrence of the condition.
Benefits of laser hydrocelectomy
The entire procedure of laser hydrocelectomy takes only 30 minutes to complete. It is performed as a daycare procedure which means that you can go home the same day. Laser hydrocelectomy is minimally invasive, involves no blood loss, and inflicts no pain. There is no risk of infections or complications after the surgery.
A few precautions are advised to ensure faster recovery after hydrocele treatment. Some of these precautions and tips are:
- You should wear a scrotal support for 3-5 days.
- Avoid heavy weight lifting and other activities that could strain the groin area for about a week.
- Sex should be avoided for about 3-4 weeks after the surgery.
- Avoid eating foods that are processed and preserved. Also, refrain from having pickles and caffeine for a few days.
- Maintain proper hygiene of the groin and scrotum area.
The above precautions will help in ensuring a healthy recovery from the surgery.
The problem of a hydrocele can occur at any stage in life and there is nothing major to sweat over. If you have hydroceles, you don’t have to suffer forever. Laser hydrocelectomy is available at Pristyn Care and once you undergo the procedure, you won’t have to face the troubles associated with hydrocele ever again. All you have to do is just book your online appointment and you are all set to receive the most convenient treatment experience.