Processus vaginalis; Patent processus vaginalis
Hydroceles are usually not dangerous, and they are usually only treated when they cause discomfort or embarrassment, or if they are large enough to threaten the testicle's blood supply.
One option is to remove the fluid in the scrotum with a needle, a process called
Sclerosing (thickening or hardening) medications may be injected after aspiration to close off the opening. This helps prevent the future build up of fluid.
Hydroceles associated with an inguinal hernia should be repaired surgically as quickly as possible. Hydroceles that do not go away on their own over a period of months should be evaluated for possible surgery. A surgical procedure, called a
Generally, a simple hydrocele goes away without surgery. If surgery is necessary, it is a simple procedure for a skilled surgeon, and usually has an excellent outcome.
Complications may occur from hydrocele treatment.
Risks related to hydrocele surgery may include:
- Blood clots
- Injury to the scrotal tissue or structures
Risks related to aspiration and sclerosing may include:
- Mild-to-moderate pain in the scrotal area
- Return of the hydrocele
Calling your health care provider
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have symptoms of hydrocele (to rule out other causes of a
Acute pain in the scrotum or testicles is a surgical emergency. If enlargement of the scrotum is associated with acute pain, seek medical attention immediately.
Review Date: 12/15/2010
Reviewed By: Erik T. Goluboff, MD, Professor, Department of Urology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.