Hydrocele Repair

The Procedure

Either a full general anaesthetic (where you will be asleep throughout the procedure) or a spinal anaesthetic (where you are awake but unable to feel anything from the waist down) will be used. Both methods minimise pain; your anaesthetist will explain the pros and cons of each type of anaesthetic to you.

The surgeon will make a small incision in the scrotum and drain the fluid from around the testicle. The remaining sac is then stitched up with absorbable sutures. Occasionally, the surgeon may remove the fluid sac completely.

Hydrocele Repair
After the Procedure

You may experience discomfort for a few days after the procedure but painkillers will be given to you to take home. Absorbable stitches are normally used which do not require removal.

The average hospital stay is less than 1 day although you may be asked to stay overnight.

Side Effects

Most procedures have a potential for side-effects and these are outlined below.

Common (greater than 1 in 10)

  • Swelling of the scrotum lasting several days to weeks. The testicle on the side of the hydrocele will usually remain somewhat larger than the testicle on the other side.
  • Seepage of yellowish fluid from the wound several days after surgery

Occasional (between 1 in 10 & 1 in 50)

  • Haematoma or blood collection around testes which resolves slowly or requires surgical removal.
  • Possible infection of the incision or the testis requiring further treatment with antibiotics or surgical drainage.

Rare (less than 1 in 50)

  • Recurrence of fluid collection.
Going Home

The wound should be kept clean and dry for 24 hours. Thereafter, if a dressing is in place, this can be removed following a short bath or shower.

Until the area, heals, do not have lengthy baths or showers since this will encourage the stitches to dissolve too quickly and may cause infection.

It is advisable to wear supportive underpants or a scrotal support until the swelling and discomfort have settled.
You are advised to take 10-14 days off work and should avoid any strenuous exercise or heavy lifting to allow wound healing. Sexual intercourse is best avoided for 10 days or until local discomfort has settled.

Some lumpiness above or behind the testicle is common following the procedure and is often permanent.

If you develop a temperature, increased redness, throbbing or drainage at the site of the operation, please contact your GP.

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