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What you need to know about the hydrocoele procedure

A hydrocoele is a buildup of fluid in the scrotum that can cause swelling and discomfort. While a small hydrocoele may not require treatment, larger hydrocoeles may require surgical intervention.

Here is what you need to know about the hydrocoele procedure:

Before the Procedure:

Before the hydrocoele procedure, it is important to discuss the decision with your urologist to ensure that it is the right choice for you. The urologist will likely ask about your medical history and perform a physical exam to ensure you are a suitable candidate.

In preparation for the procedure, it is recommended to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and arrange for someone to drive you home afterwards. You may also be advised to avoid taking blood-thinning medications for a few days before the procedure.

During the Procedure:

The hydrocoele procedure is typically performed on an outpatient basis, meaning you can go home the same day as the procedure. The procedure usually takes about 30 minutes and is performed under local or general anaesthesia. There are different techniques used for the hydrocoele procedure, but the most common one involves the following steps:

An incision is made in the scrotum to allow access to the hydrocoele.

The fluid is drained from the hydrocoele.

The sac that contained the fluid is removed or stitched closed.

The incision is then closed with dissolvable stitches.

After the Procedure:

After the hydrocoele procedure, it is normal to experience some pain, swelling, and bruising in the scrotum. Applying ice packs and taking pain medication can help alleviate these symptoms.

It is important to avoid strenuous activities and sexual intercourse for a few weeks following the procedure to allow the body time to heal. It is also important to keep the area clean and dry to prevent infection.

What are the risks of the hydrocoele procedure?

While the procedure is generally safe, there are potential risks and complications that patients should be aware of before undergoing surgery.

  1. Bleeding: One of the most common risks associated with hydrocoele surgery is bleeding, both during and after the procedure. In some cases, bleeding can be severe and require medical attention.
  2. Infection: There is a risk of infection with any surgical procedure, including hydrocoele surgery. Signs of infection may include redness, swelling, discharge, or fever.
  3. Pain: It is common to experience some pain and discomfort after hydrocoele surgery, especially during the first few days. Pain can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers and careful post-operative care.
  4. Swelling: Swelling is a common side effect of hydrocoele surgery and may last several days after the procedure. Elevating the scrotum and applying ice can help reduce swelling.
  5. Testicular damage: In rare cases, hydrocoele surgery can result in damage to the testicle or the structures around it, such as the epididymis or vas deferens.
  6. Scarring: Hydrocoele surgery can result in scarring, although this is usually minimal and fades over time.
  7. Recurrence: In some cases, hydrocoeles may recur after surgery, requiring additional treatment.


The hydrocoele procedure is a surgical intervention for a buildup of fluid in the scrotum. While it is generally considered safe, it is important to discuss the decision with a doctor and be aware of potential complications. By following all post-operative instructions, patients can reduce the risk of complications and ensure a successful outcome.

Author: Mr Neil A Haldar MBBS MD FRCS

Consultant Urological Surgeon

The Pelvic Specialists

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