ABOUT HYDROCOELE REPAIR
A hydrocoele repair is performed to remove a hydrocoele, which is a sac containing fluid which has formed within the scrotum around the testicle.
WHY IS HYDROCOELE REPAIR REQUIRED?
A hydrocoele repair is require if a hydrocoele is causing pain or inconvenience. It is not necessary to repair a hydrocoele if it isn’t causing any bother.
WHAT DOES HYDROCOELE REPAIR INVOLVE?
Hydrocoele repair is usually performed under general anaesthetic (completely asleep), but spinal anaesthetic (numb from the waist down) can be used instead.
Regardless of the type of anaesthetic, we also use local anaesthetic which will provide pain relief for several hours after the procedure.
We make an incision in the middle of the scrotum. We drain the fluid from sac around the testicle. We remove the lining of the sac which reduces the chance of the hydrocoele recurring.
We use dissolvable stitches to close the incision in the scrotum.
The procedure is usually performed as day surgery – you can go home on the same day as the surgery as long as you are accompanied by a responsible adult.
WHAT IS THE RECOVERY AFTER HYDROCOELE REPAIR?
A dressing or a waterproofing spray will be placed on the wound. If there is a dressing, we will tell you when it can be removed.
The wound needs to stay dry for 48 hours after the operation. Do not soak in the bath or go swimming for at least two weeks after the procedure.
The stitches are dissolvable and will fall out on their own after a few weeks.
You will need to wear tight fitting scrotal support, such as tight underwear or a jock strap, at all times for at least one week after the operation.
You will be given instructions for pain relief after the procedure. Usually regular paracetamol and/or ibuprofen for a few days is enough. You may also be given stronger pain relief to take as needed.
It is very common for the scrotum to be bruised and swell to the size it was before the procedure. This will usually settle down over a few weeks.
Long term, the testicle on the side of the hydrocoele repair may feel firmer and larger than the testicle on the other side.
It is usually safe to drive 48 hours after the procedure, if you are comfortable.
You can usually return to work two to five days after the procedure.
You need to avoid exercise, straining or heavy lifting for four to six weeks after the procedure.
Your fertility should not be affected unless there is a problem with the testicle on the other side.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF HYDROCOELE REPAIR?
Specific risks of the procedure (excluding risks from the anaesthetic include):
Occasional (1/10 – 1/50)
- Bleeding causing a collection of blood in the scrotum (haematoma), which may need another procedure to correct.
- Infection in the wound requiring antibiotics.
- Inability to pass urine after the procedure, requiring a catheter (tube passed through the penis into the bladder to drain urine).
- Severe swelling of the scrotum.
- Chronic pain in the testicle.
- Recurrence of the hydrocoele.
Very rare (< 1/250)
- Damage to the testicle or the cord leading to the testicle, requiring the whole testicle to be removed.
WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT OPTIONS?
It is not necessary to repair a hydrocoele if it isn’t causing any bother.
The fluid in a hydrocoele can be removed by passing a needle into the hydrocoele through the skin of the scrotum. The fluid will re-accumulate very quickly so this is not the preferred treatment option.
WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HYDROCOELE REPAIR?
British Association of Urological Surgeons (BAUS): Repair of a hydrocoele leaflet