Health Encyclopedia

Hydrocele

Hydrocele

A hydrocele is a buildup of fluid around one or both testicles that causes the scrotum or groin area to swell. The swelling may be unsightly or uncomfortable, but it is not painful.

Hydroceles may be present at birth (congenital) or may develop after birth (acquired). Congenital hydroceles usually go away by age 2. Acquired hydroceles may be caused by an injury to the groin area. Or the cause may be unknown. An acquired hydrocele can occur at any age, but it is most common in men older than 40.

If a hydrocele stays the same size or gets smaller as the body reabsorbs the fluid, generally no treatment is needed. If the hydrocele varies in size or gets bigger and becomes uncomfortable, surgery may be needed to remove the fluid.

Last Revised: December 28, 2012

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Peter Anderson, MD, FRCS(C) - Pediatric Urology

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

USNWR 2013-2014Magnet Hospital RecognitionConsumer Choice2014 Best DoctorsJoint Commission Report

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.