The removal of a hydrocele. A hydrocele is the swelling of the scrotum, usually painless, caused by a collection of fluid around the testicle.
A hydrocele is not a serious condition and often does not initially require treatment. Once the hydrocele becomes large enough to cause discomfort or physical issues due to its size, the hydrocele is removed.
A scrotal incision is made, the fluid around the testicle is drained and the hydrocele sac (tissue around the fluid) is removed. A scrotal support, or jock strap, is placed for support. The sutures used to close the scrotum will dissolve in 1 – 2 weeks. Local anesthetic will be injected around the site to minimize the discomfort in the recovery room. The local anesthetic will wear off in 2 – 4 hours and oral pain medication is used after that.
You may return to your normal diet within 24 hours following your surgery. You may note some mild nausea and possibly vomiting the first 6-8 hours following surgery. This is usually due to the side effects of anesthesia, and will subside quite soon. We suggest clear liquids and a light meal the first evening following surgery.
Physical activity should be restricted the first 48 hours. During this time you should remain relatively inactive, moving about only when necessary. During the first few days following surgery you should avoid lifting heavy objects (anything greater than 15 pounds), and avoid strenuous exercise. If you are employed, ask us specifically about your restrictions for both home and work. We will write a note to your employer if needed.
You should plan to wear a tight pair of briefs or an athletic supporter for the first 4-5 days, even while sleeping. This will keep the scrotum immobilized to some degree and keep the swelling down. Ice packs should be placed over the scrotum the first 48 hours. Ice is a good pain reliever and keeps the swelling down. Fifteen minutes on and 15 minutes off is a reasonable schedule. Frozen peas or corn in a Ziploc® bag can be frozen, used, and refrozen.
In most cases, your incision will have absorbable sutures that dissolve within the first 10-20 days. Some may fall out even earlier. Expect some redness as the sutures dissolve, but this should occur only around the sutures. If there is generalized redness, especially with increasing pain or swelling, let your doctor’s medical assistant know. The scrotum will very likely get black and blue as blood spreads in the tissues. Sometimes the entire scrotum will turn colors. Black and blue is followed by a yellow and brown color. In time, this coloration will go away.
You may shower 48 hours after surgery. Tub bathing should be restricted until the seventh day.
If the pain is not too bad, you may take Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil (ibuprofen), which contain no narcotic agents and might be tolerated a little better with fewer side effects. If the pain medication you are sent home with does not control the pain, please contact your doctor.
Problems you should report to your urologist: