Swelling in your scrotum can be a buildup of fluid called a hydrocele. If you develop scrotal swelling, visit Kiarash Michel, MD, and his board-certified men’s health experts at Comprehensive Urology in the Beverly Grove neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. They’ll determine if you have a hydrocele and carry out the most effective treatment. Call Comprehensive Urology today or book an appointment online to benefit from first-class hydrocele diagnosis and treatment.
A hydrocele is scrotal swelling that develops when fluid builds up in the thin casing surrounding your testicle. It’s common in newborns, usually resolving without treatment before the baby is a year old.
Hydroceles are rarely painful, but adults could experience some discomfort if their swollen scrotum is heavy. The hydrocele might become painful as it gets bigger and inflammation increases. You might find the swollen area gets larger throughout the day.
A hydrocele doesn’t affect your fertility and is unlikely to harm you. But it’s sometimes a sign of an underlying condition that can cause severe problems.
One problem is infections and tumors that affect sperm production and quality. Another is an inguinal hernia, where part of your intestine gets trapped in the abdominal tissues. Hernias can lead to life-threatening complications.
Injury and inflammation inside the scrotum can cause a hydrocele in men and older boys. Inflammation might develop because of an infection in your testicle, including sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Epididymitis (inflammation in the epididymis, a small, coiled tube in each testicle) is another likely trigger.
If you notice a swelling in your scrotum, it’s vital that you visit Comprehensive Urology to rule out more worrying causes.
To assess your condition, your Comprehensive Urology doctor completes a physical exam.
They check for tenderness in the enlarged scrotum and press on your abdomen and scrotum to see if there’s a hernia. They might also shine a light through your scrotum (transillumination) to view any clear fluid around the testicle.
You might need blood and urine tests for infection and an ultrasound scan to identify hernias, testicular tumors, or other scrotal swelling causes.
If your hydrocele doesn’t go away on its own, your Comprehensive Urology doctor might need to remove it surgically (hydrocelectomy). This is an outpatient procedure done under a general or regional anesthetic.
Your doctor makes an incision in your scrotum or lower abdomen and cuts out the hydrocele. After your hydrocelectomy, you might have a tube fitted to drain fluid from the incision. You must also wear a dressing for several days to protect the wound.
Hydroceles sometimes return, so you need to attend follow-up exams.
Call Comprehensive Urology today or book an appointment online for expert diagnosis and treatment of hydroceles.