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What is hydrocele surgery?

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Quick Answer

A hydrocelectomy involves a surgeon removing sacs of fluid that accumulate along the membrane covering the testes, according to the Encyclopedia of Surgery. The procedure is also called hydrocele repair. The surgeon cuts through tissue, drains the fluid sac and stitches the incision back together.

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Surgery is recommended only after painful inflammation occurs and the scrotum swells, notes the Encyclopedia of Surgery. A hydrocelectomy generally prevents recurrence of the hydrocele. The surgery most often occurs on an outpatient basis if there are no complications such as a hernia.

A surgeon may use a laparascope, or a tiny probe with a camera on the end, to perform the operation, says MedlinePlus. This type of hydrocele repair uses smaller incisions than an incision in the groin. Surgery is recommended for children more than 2 years old and adults who have hydroceles that grow too large, become infected or cause problems with blood flow.

Hydroceles usually go away on their own and are not normally dangerous, according to WebMD. Doctors generally treat the abnormalities only if they cause pain, swelling or discomfort. If possible, doctors aspirate hydroceles with a needle to drain the fluid. Aspiration represents one treatment option for men who cannot have surgery due to risks of infection. Hydroceles in men older than 65 usually do not get smaller or disappear.

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