Usually the only indication of a hydrocele is a painless swelling of one or both testicles. Adult men with a hydrocele may experience discomfort from the heaviness of a swollen scrotum. Sometimes, the swollen testicle may be smaller in the morning and larger later in the day.
When to see a doctor
See your doctor if you experience scrotal swelling. It's important to rule out other possible causes for the swelling. Sometimes a hydrocele is associated with an inguinal hernia, in which a weak point in the abdominal wall allows a loop of intestine to extend into the scrotum and which may require treatment.
For your child
If your baby has scrotal swelling, make an appointment with your baby's doctor. If the doctor determines that the cause of the swelling is a hydrocele, it will typically disappear on its own. However, if your baby's hydrocele doesn't disappear after a year or if it enlarges, you should make another appointment for your child's doctor to examine the hydrocele again.
Nov. 03, 2011
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- Painless scrotal mass. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary_disorders/symptoms_of_genitourinary_disorders/painless_scrotal_mass.html. Accessed Sept. 17, 2011.
- Cimador M, et al. Management of hydrocele in adolescent patients. Nature Reviews Urology. 2010;7:379.