Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
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New Brunswick, NJ 08903-2681
A hydrocelectomy is a procedure to correct a hydrocele. A hydrocele is a buildup of fluid in the membrane that surrounds the testicle.
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Hydroceles will often go away with time or treatment of cause. A hydrocelectomy may be considered if the hydrocele:
Potential problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will review possible problems like:
Adolescents and adults can take steps to lower the risk of problems from the procedure such as:
The doctor will review tests to prepare for surgery. You may be asked to have a physical exam with a primary doctor.
Before the surgery:
General anesthesia is used. You will be asleep during the procedure.
An incision is made in either the groin crease or the scrotum. This will allow access to the hydrocele and the channel that carries fluid from the belly. Fluid is drained from the area. A part or all of the hydrocele sac will be removed. Any damage of the canal between the belly and the scrotum will be repaired. A temporary drain may be placed in the skin to prevent a buildup of fluids or infection.
The incision in the skin will then be closed with stitches. A waterproof dressing may be applied to the incision.
Less than 1 hour
Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. The scrotum may be sore for a few days after surgery. Pain and discomfort can be managed with medicine.
At the Care Center
Vital signs will be monitored in a recovery room. Medicine will also be given to manage pain.
Some activity will need to be restricted for 2 to 4 weeks.
It is important to monitor your recovery. Alert your doctor to any problems. If any of the following occur, call your doctor:
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics
Urology Care Foundation
Canadian Urological Association
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
Hydrocele. Boston Children’s Hospital website. Available at: http://www.childrenshospital.org/conditions-and-treatments/conditions/hydrocele/overview. Accessed September 17, 2020.
Hydrocele. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia website. Available at: http://www.chop.edu/conditions-diseases/hydrocele#.VUpECI5Viko. Accessed September 17, 2020.
Hydrocele. Patient website. Available at: https://patient.info/doctor/hydrocele. Accessed September 17, 2020.
Hydrocele in adolescents and adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/hydrocele-in-adults-and-adolescents-18. Accessed September 17, 2020.
Hydrocele in infants and children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/hydrocele-in-infants-and-children. Accessed September 17, 2020.
Hydrocelectomy. Surgery Encyclopedia website. Available at: http://www.surgeryencyclopedia.com/Fi-La/Hydrocelectomy.html. Accessed September 17, 2020.
Last reviewed September 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD Last Updated: 1/6/2021