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Why the Lump in Your Scrotum?

Although non-cancerous, a hydrocele may alarm you. It’s a sometimes painful lump that can be felt in your scrotum.


What is Hydrocele?

A hydrocele is a type of scrotal mass (a lump or bulge that can be felt in the scrotum). Hydrocele is a non-cancerous fluid or swelling in the sac surrounding your testicle.


What causes Hydrocele?

Most of the time there is no identifiable or underlying cause, but a hydrocele can occur after testicular injury or after hernia surgery.


What are the symptoms of Hydrocele?

You may experience the following symptoms:

  • Bulge in the scrotum
  • Lump in the testicle
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Scrotal or groin swelling

If you experience severe pain, pain associated with nausea/vomiting, or an abnormal lie of the testicle you should go to the ER immediately as this can be a sign of testicular torsion.


How is Hydrocele diagnosed?

What to know before your visit to MidLantic Urology in Philadelphia and surrounding counties:

  • During your visit, your doctor will ask you questions regarding your medical history, surgical history, medications and will perform an exam with focused attention to the groin and genitalia.

Tests that may be performed during or after your visit:

  • Urinalysis: This evaluates for any blood in the urine or infection
  • Scrotal ultrasound: This is an imaging study that looks at the testicles, epididymis, hydrocele sac and assesses blood flow to and from the testicle
  • Light: Your physician may place a strong light behind the testicle to see whether light passes through. Light will pass through a mass or swelling caused by a hydrocele but will not pass through a solid mass.


How is Hydrocele treated?

The fluid buildup of a hydrocele generally does not require treatment unless it becomes too large or bulky.


  • Observation: For non-bothersome hydroceles or in patients with significant medical issues, observation may be all that is needed.
  • Aspiration: In select circumstances, draining the fluid in the hydrocele sac may be performed; however, this typically has a higher recurrence rate


  • Hydrocelectomy: This outpatient surgery involves a small incision in the scrotum to remove all or part of the hydrocele sac. The surgeon may leave a tube to drain fluid for a few days. Recurrence of a hydrocele is possible but not common.

Schedule an appointment with a MidLantic Urology Physician near you today!

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