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Hydrocelectomy - Indications, Procedure, and Advantages.

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A hydrocelectomy is a surgical procedure used to repair a hydrocele, a fluid buildup around a testicle. Read the article to know more.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Shivpal Saini

Published At March 27, 2023
Reviewed AtMarch 27, 2023

What Is Hydrocelectomy?

A hydrocelectomy is a surgical procedure used to repair or remove a hydrocele, which is a fluid-filled sac that surrounds the testicle. The procedure is usually completed in less than an hour. Healing issues, infection, swelling, bruising, and scarring are all risks. It could take two weeks or more to recover. In addition, it causes swelling in the scrotum, the pouch that holds the testicles. If one has hydroceles around both testicles, one may require a bilateral hydrocelectomy. The term "bilateral" refers to the condition affecting both the left and right testicles. Hydroceles can be frightening because they are visible and are located in a sensitive area of the body. They are usually painless and sometimes improve on their own. However, one should immediately consult the healthcare provider if one notices any abnormalities in the scrotum. It could indicate a more serious issue.

What Are the Indications for Hydrocelectomy?

Men with an enlarged scrotum that does not go away on its own may require a hydrocelectomy. In addition, anyone, regardless of age, who has a hydrocele may benefit from a hydrocelectomy.

What Is the Need for Hydrocelectomy?

A hydrocele can form in the scrotum and cause no discomfort or medical problems. One can try over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain relievers and see if the swelling goes away. After six months, it usually goes away on its own. If the hydrocele becomes too large, it may need to be repaired. Symptoms that indicate the surgery:

  • One side of the scrotum is swollen.

  • Pain in one or both testicles and heaviness caused by scrotal enlargement.

How Common Is Hydrocelectomies?

A hydrocelectomy is a common surgical procedure. A hydrocele affects about ten percent of all baby boys or males at birth. The hydroceles frequently disappear on their own. A hydrocele affects about one percent of adult men and people with AMAB (assigned male at birth). A hydrocelectomy is usually required if a hydrocele appears after 12 months.

What Is Done Before a Hydrocelectomy?

Consult the doctor before having a hydrocelectomy. They will assess the overall health. They will also check the vital signs (temperature, pulse, and blood pressure). Tell them about previous genital or groin injuries, infections, or surgeries. Inform them of any prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medications and herbal supplements. Aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications, and herbal supplements can increase the risk of bleeding. In adults or teenagers who have completed puberty, the healthcare provider may request to shave the groin area or the entire scrotum the night before or the morning of the procedure. Do not shave the scrotum with an electric razor. The best disposable razor is one with a single blade. Wash the scrotum and groin thoroughly the day before and the morning of the hydrocelectomy to reduce the risk of infection.

What Is Done During a Hydrocelectomy?

Hydrocelectomy is usually performed as an outpatient procedure. It usually necessitates general anesthesia, which means a person will be completely unconscious during the procedure. A tube will be inserted into the throat to regulate breathing. An intravenous line will be placed in the arm before surgery to provide fluids and any medication that may be required.

A standard hydrocelectomy involves the surgeon making a small incision in the scrotum and draining the hydrocele with suction. A laparoscope is a tube with a tiny camera at the end that can perform the repair as a minimally invasive procedure. The surgeon can view the inside of the scrotum on an external video monitor. Small instruments can be inserted through the "keyhole" incision to perform the repair.

What Happens After a Hydrocelectomy?

After the procedure, the healthcare provider will apply bandages to the stitches. To keep the patient asleep, the anesthesiologist will stop administering anesthesia. The patient will be transferred to a recovery room, where medical personnel will wait for them to awaken and monitor their overall health. Most hydrocelectomies are outpatient procedures so the patient can go home the same day. When the healthcare providers determine that the patient no longer requires monitoring, they will discharge the patient. After a hydrocelectomy, one should apply ice packs to the affected area for at least 24 hours. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be used.

What Are the Advantages of a Hydrocelectomy?

A hydrocelectomy has numerous advantages, including:

  • Prevent Inguinal Hernia in Babies - An inguinal hernia is a hernia that occurs in an infant's groin. It occurs when a portion of their intestine pushes through a hole in their abdominal wall via their inguinal canal. A hydrocelectomy can help prevent the formation of an inguinal hernia.

  • Boost Self-Esteem - Most people are pleased with the results of their hydrocelectomy. They are pleased with the appearance of their scrotum following the procedure.

  • Improved Comfort - Sitting, lying down, walking, or running may be difficult if one has hydroceles.

  • Safety - A hydrocelectomy is a relatively low-risk procedure with few complications or side effects. The majority of people return home the same day.

What Are the Risks or Complications of Hydrocelectomy?

The complications or risks of hydrocelectomy are:

  • Swelling.

  • Recurrence.

  • Infection.

  • Anesthesia risks.

  • Bruising.

  • Scarring.

  • Hematoma.

What Is the Recovery Time After a Hydrocelectomy?

After a hydrocelectomy, most people can return to normal activities within two days. The healthcare provider will remove the drain a day or two after surgery. The skin in the scrotum may have stretched if it has a large hydrocele and may have loose skin after a hydrocelectomy. After a hydrocelectomy, the scrotum should shrink (recoil) to its normal size within a few weeks to a month. For at least two weeks, one should avoid strenuous activities and sexual activity. Bathing should be avoided until the area has healed. To help prevent infection in infants, keep the area as clean and dry as possible.


Hydrocelectomy is usually successful, with only a few major complications. Another hydrocele may be formed following surgery, necessitating additional treatment, but this is uncommon. If a person experiences swelling and pain in the scrotum again, contact the doctor immediately.

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Dr. Shivpal Saini
Dr. Shivpal Saini

General Surgery


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