A hydrocele is a type of physiological defect in which swelling of scrotum takes place due to an abnormal collection of fluid inside the scrotal sac. The accumulated fluid surrounds the testis on all sides. It is one of the most common physiological diseases in new-born babies below one-year-old (Congenital Hydrocele). Surprisingly, in infants and children, it disappears automatically without any treatment. A hydrocele is also a problem in old boys and adults. Unlike male babies, the disease in adults doesn’t cure by itself. The reason for hydrocele in adults has many causes. Most commonly it is due to a physiological imbalance between fluid secretion and absorption but can also occur due to infections, trauma and testicular tumors.
A hydrocele is just like a symptom; it doesn’t cause any pain and treatment. It may cause discomfort to the patient because of swelling. If instead of swelling, you are feeling pain inside then you must consult a doctor to find out the exact cause of the symptom.
Causes of Hydrocele:
The reason behind hydrocele is of two types:- First in the new-born babies and second is the adult male. We can get familiar with the two reasons behind hydrocele, and they are:-
- Congenital in Infants and Babies
- Acquired Causes for Older males
Physiological: Due to an imbalance between the secretion and absorption rates of the fluid.
- Inflammation:- In this case, the leading cause is the inflammation of the testis due to which inflammatory fluids collect in the sac and leads to hydrocele in males.
- Infection:- Infection in the scrotum, testis, and epididymitis is major. Some other parts of the male genital tract can also be a cause for hydrocele.
- Blockage in the spermatic cord:- It is a physical defect in which the sperm transferring tube gets blocked due to which the smooth passage of fluid from inside doesn’t function properly. This fluid collection causes hydrocele (Spermatocele).
- Inguinal hernia surgery:- A person may also develop after hernia surgery.
- Trauma:- Testicular trauma may cause the collection of blood in the sac called Hematocele.
Symptoms of Hydrocele:
If a person suffers from hydrocele we can assume the following type of symptoms of scrotum swelling:
- Asymptomatic swelling in only one or both scrotum
- Swelling but no pain
- Feeling of discomfort due to the heaviness of swollen scrotum
- Swelling with pain in case of inflammation
- Swelling and pain in case of infection
- Scrotum seems like a water-filled balloon
- Feel like testis floating inside the scrotum sac
- Uneasiness and uncomfortable while touching
Treatment of hydrocele:
- New-born males:- Hydrocele in new-born babies doesn’t need any treatment because it is due to the environmental adjustment of the baby from the mother’s womb. It treats itself when the body begins to adjust with that the symptoms automatically go away, and the disease gets a treat. Rarely it may need surgical intervention.
- Adult males:- Surgical management is the only option for the treatment of adult males. The operation to remove hydrocele is known as hydro-celectomy. This surgery can be done under local, spinal or general anaesthesia.
Dr. Pranay Gourav, Consultant General Surgery, Narayana Multispeciality Hospital, Barasat