(Processus Vaginalis; Varicose Veins—Scrotum)
- Communicating hydroceles—associated with hernias and are usually seen in baby boys
- Non-communicating hydroceles—collections of fluid around the testicle and may occur at any age
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Hydrocele symptoms in adults:
- Painless swelling in one or both sides of the scrotum, which feels like a water-filled balloon
- May be accompanied by a persistent ache or feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
Hydrocele symptoms in infants:
- Painless swelling of the scrotum
- If the hydrocele is communicating and associated with a hernia, the amount of swelling will vary with activities such as crying
Varicocele symptoms include:
- Enlarged or twisted vein in the scrotum
- Generally appears as a visible or enlarged or twisted vein in the scrotum that you can feel
- May be associated with shrinkage of the testicle(s) and/or infertility
- Veins typically change in size, and are larger when standing or straining
- Occur most often on the left side
- Warning signs that a varicocele may be due to a tumor are sudden onset, right-sided location, or failure of the varicocele to become smaller when lying down
- Transillumination—a flashlight is shone through the enlarged portion of the scrotum; if a hydrocele is present, the scrotum will light up
- Ultrasound—a test that uses sound waves to examine the contents of the scrotum
- Urinalysis tests
- Testicular scintigraphy—a radioactive substance is injected into the blood, and x-rays are taken
- Hydrocele persists beyond the first year of life
- Hydrocele becomes large enough to threaten a testicle's blood supply
- You have a communicating hydrocele (associated with a hernia)
- Open surgery—the vein is surgically cut and tied off
- Catheter ablation—heat is applied through a catheter to destroy the vein
- Catheter embolization—a substance is placed in the vein to block it
- Laparoscopy—involves the use of a thin, lighted tube inserted into the abdomen to view the vessels in the body as they lead to the testicle
American Society for Reproductive Medicine http://www.asrm.org
American Urological Association http://www.auanet.org
The College of Family Physicians of Canada http://www.cfpc.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index%5Fe.html
Hydrocele. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated April 2, 2012. Accessed September 14, 2012.
The Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Report on varicocele and infertility. American Society of Reproductive Medicine website. Available at: http://www.asrm.org/uploadedFiles/ASRM%5FContent/News%5Fand%5FPublications/Practice%5FGuidelines/Joint%5FReports/Report%5Fon%5Fvaricocele(1).pdf. Published 2001. Accessed September 14, 2012.
Varicocele. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated October 23, 2011. Accessed September 14, 2012.
Varicocele. American Society for Reproductive Medicine website. Available at: http://www.asrm.org/uploadedFiles/ASRM%5FContent/Resources/Patient%5FResources/Fact%5FSheets%5Fand%5FInfo%5FBooklets/Varicocele.pdf. Accessed September 14, 2012.
Wein A, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, Elsevier; 2007.
- Reviewer: Adrienne Carmack, MD
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 00/92/2012 -