A hydrocele is a fluid collection within the tunica vaginalis surrounding the testis. A hydrocele is typically painless swelling of the scrotum that transilluminates. There are two types of hydroceles one is congenital and the other is acquired.
- Congenital is seen as a result of peritoneal fluid accumulation within the scrotum through the processus vaginalis. Spontaneous closure of the processus vaginalis may occur in infants.
- Acquired is typically seen when there is an imbalance in fluid secretion and absorption by the tunica vaginalis.
An incision will be made along the scrotum to gain access to the testicle and the sac that holds the fluid. Once the fluid is removed the incision will be surgically repaired in a manner that will prevent recollection of the fluid.
What to expect after surgery?
- You will wake up from surgery with a supportive dressing in a scrotal support.
- You will want to reduce your activity for the first 48 hours.
- On the day after surgery it is very important to get out of bed and begin walking. This will help prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis. Please follow the DVT prevention handout.
- Your bowels may be sluggish after surgery and pain medication can increase constipation. Follow the postoperative bowel program handout.
- You may have steri strips over your incisions and these will fall off in 5-7 days.
- You can use a heating pad on the incision to help with muscle soreness.
- You may shower when you go home.
- Use your pain medication as directed if needed, if your pain is mild you can use acetaminophen.
Activity and postoperative restrictions
- You may see scrotal swelling for 2 to 3 weeks after surgery.
- Walking and light exercise is important in prevent DVTs
- You should expect to return to work in 2 to 3 days with light duty.
- You should reduce your activity levels for the first week while healing
- Use stairs gently for the first week
- No heavy lifting, pulling or pushing over 10 to 15 pounds for 3 to 4 weeks.
- No strenuous exercising for 3 to 4 weeks
- No sexual intercourse for 3 to 4 weeks
- Do not drive while taking narcotics.
- You should resume your pre-surgery medication unless told otherwise.
- Do not take any aspirin products for the first two weeks.
- If you are taking Warfrin or Plavix this should be followed by your primary care provider postoperatively. They will discuss with you when to resume medication and dosing recommendations.
- If you are taking pain medication or iron supplements you should also be taking a stool softener to keep the stool soft.
- If your pain is mild you can stop taking the pain medication and switch to acetaminophen.
Medications and items to have at home before surgery
- Stool Softener
- Milk of Magnesia
You may return to your normal diet. You may want to avoid acidic foods and drinks that may cause burning with urination. Drinks with caffeine may cause frequency and irritation to your bladder. If you’re not on a sugar or salt restriction diet, drink 8 to 10 glasses of water and Gatorade daily to avoid constipation and to prevent possible urinary tract infections.
- Fever over 101 Fahrenheit by mouth
- Pain not relieved by medication
- Rash, itching after taking pain medication
- Continued nausea and vomiting
- Abnormal swelling around operative site
- Increased redness, warmth, hardness around operative site
- Excessive draining from surgical site
- Excessive bleeding from operative site
- Inability to urinate
- Swelling of the calf, ankle or foot
- Increased warmth of the leg
- Pain in the leg
- Bluish discoloration of the skin or leg
Postoperative follow up
You will need a follow-up appointment to monitor your progress in 2 to 3 weeks post operatively. You will be called for a postoperative follow up 1 to 2 days after surgery. You can make your postoperative appointment at that time or by calling and speaking to a receptionist.