Hydrocele- Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

Hydrocele is a condition in which the body cavity around the testicle fills with fluid. This may cause the testicle to swell and become larger than normal.

About Hydrocele

Accumulation of fluid around the testicles is known as Hydrocele. The fluid may surround one or both testicles. Hydrocele repair is the process to treat swelling and inflammation of the scrotum during hydrocele. It is not painful but it gets enlarged with time. To be on the safe side, it is always advised to seek consultation with a doctor.

There are different types of hydrocele repair surgery and the most common one is done under local anesthesia. The doctor makes a small incision in the scrotum and drains out the fluid. A small tube called a catheter is then inserted to prevent the accumulation of fluid again. The surgery takes only 30 minutes to an hour. In some cases, the doctor may also recommend a general anesthesia.

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Fast Facts on Hydrocele


Some of them are discussed below-

  • Hydrocele is commonly found in newborns, which disappears within the first 1 to 2 years of life without any treatment.
  • Hydrocele may also develop in boys and adult men due to any injury within the scrotum.
  • It is not fatal. It is usually painless and may not cause any discomfort.
  • Hydrocele requires surgery as it may get severe with time.

Causes of Hydrocele

Causes of Hydrocele in Baby Boys

When the baby develops in the womb, the testicles descend from the abdomen into the scrotum through a tube. When this tube does not close, it leads to hydrocele. There is a drainage of fluid from the abdomen through the open tube that gets trapped in the scrotum. This causes the scrotum to swell.

Causes of Hydrocele in Adults

  • The building of excess fluid around the testicles. This happens when the fluid does not drain properly and get collected.
  • Injury to the testicles or inflammation in the scrotum

Types of Hydrocele

Non-communicating Hydrocele

This occurs when the fluid-filled sac closes, but the body fails to absorb the fluid.

Communicating Hydrocele

Happens when the sac filled with fluid does not seal. The swelling may increase with time.

Symptoms and Diagnosis of Hydrocele

The doctor performs a physical examination to check the tenderness of the enlarged scrotum. He may apply pressure to the abdomen to check for inguinal hernia. In children, there may be visible fluid surrounding the testicles.

Hydrocele can be diagnosed with a flashlight through the inflamed scrotum. The scrotum will light up if it is filled with clear fluid. The doctor may recommend blood and urine tests to check for infection. Even ultrasound may be required to rule out hernia, swelling and testicular tumor.

In hydrocele, you may not feel the pain. Symptoms of Hydrocele include:

  • Inflammation in the testicles which may increase with time
  • Heaviness in the scrotum
  • Sudden severe pain in the scrotum (in case of injury)

Hydrocele is not life-threatening and usually does not affect fertility. Possible complications of hydrocele surgery, if you do not choose the right treatment, may be:

  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Injury

Treatment of Hydrocele


Ayurveda Treatment

The treatment pacifies both VATA and KAPHA in the case of hydrocele. The Ayurvedic medicines for hydrocele treatment are:

  • Chandraprabha Vati: It helps in reducing the swelling and inflammation in the reproductive organ.
  • Vridhivadhika Vati: This is a medicine of choice for hydrocele. This ayurvedic medicine helps to reduce swelling in the abdomen and naturally reduces the hernia.
  • Arogyavardhini Vati: This helps in treating abdominal problems such as abdominal pain, intestinal gas,  heaviness in the abdomen.


In a baby boy:

  • The surgeon makes a small surgical cut in the groin and drains the fluid. The hydrocele containing the fluid may be removed. The surgeon strengthens the abdominal wall with stitches. It is known as hernia repair.
  • Sometimes, the surgeon uses a laparoscope to perform the procedure. A laparoscope is a telescope-like instrument with a tiny camera that the surgeon inserts into the area through a small surgical cut. The camera gives a clear view of the internal structure on the video monitor. The surgeon repairs hydrocele with small instruments that are inserted through other small surgical cuts.

Hydrocelectomy: Hydrocele may not go away on its own so the doctor recommends hydrocelectomy. It is an outpatient procedure that is performed under general anesthesia. It can be done in two ways:

  • Open Surgery: In open surgery, the doctor makes an incision in the scrotum or lower abdomen and the hydrocele is removed. You might need a tube to drain the fluid.
  • Laser Surgery: Laser surgery is a minimally invasive procedure where the blood vessels are sealed after repair with minimum blood loss. There is minimal scarring and negligible post-surgery complications with effective hydrocele ablation. It is preferred over open surgery.
  • Needle Drainage: The doctor drains the fluid with the help of a needle and a syringe. The fluid may get refilled after a few months with this process. This is an ongoing process and is recommended to those who are not fit to undergo surgery.
  • Sclerotherapy: In this process, the injection is given to stop the hydrocele from recurring after fluid drainage. It may not be the right treatment option for everyone.
Home Remedies

Home Remedies

  • Diet: You can go with a normal diet during hydrocele with the following precautions:
    • Drink enough water to stay hydrated.
    • Avoid canned or processed food.
    • Avoid alcohol and smoking
    • Avoid sleeping immediately after dinner
  •  Exercise: Before and immediately after the surgery, do not perform any activity that puts strain on your genitals. Avoid straining to the groin to prevent hydrocele from recurring.

Allopathic Treatment

There are no drugs or medication available to treat hydrocele although you may get relief from pain killers. But, consult your doctor before you take any medicine for hydrocele.


Homeopathic Treatment

Consult a homeopathic doctor to know the medicines. Some of them are:

  • Arnica and Conium – These homeopathy medicines treat hydrocele caused by injury.
  • Berberis Vulgaris, Nux Vomica and Clematis – This treats the pain in genitals that is caused during hydrocele which also extends to the abdomen when left untreated.
  • Clematis and Rhododendron – There may be a burning sensation and soreness in the testes. To get relief from rushing pain, these medicines may be subscribed. This is for the right and left side respectively.
  • Abrotanum, Pulsatilla and Rhododendron – This is for Congenital hydrocele and is safe for children.

Note: This is for information purposes only. Do not self-medicate.

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