What is it?


A hydrocele is a collection of fluid in the scrotum. Most develop for no apparent reason, are harmless and can be left alone. If needed, a small operation can usually cure the problem. In a small number of cases, a hydrocele is due to an underlying problem with a testicle (testis).

1 in 250

men experience a recurrence of the hydrocele post surgery


experience swelling, discomfort & bruising of the scrotum lasting several days after surgery

1 in 50

post-surgery experience blood collection (haematoma) around the testicle which resolves slowly or needs surgical removal

1 in 250

experience chronic pain in their testicle or scrotum, post-surgery

hydrocele overview


A hydrocele feels like a small fluid-filled balloon inside your scrotum. It feels smooth and is mainly in front of one of your testicles (testes).

Hydroceles vary greatly in size. Very large hydroceles are sometimes seen in elderly men who have never shown their swelling to a doctor. It might have been getting larger over a number of years.

Hydroceles are normally painless. Large hydroceles may cause discomfort because of their size. Walking or sexual activity may become uncomfortable if you have a very large hydrocele.

I think I have a hydrocele

What is the next step?

Book a consultatation with one of our highly experienced doctors. They will be able to give you an accurate diagnosis.

Your doctor will examine your testicles (testes) and may also shine a light through your scrotum, which helps to diagnose a hydrocele.

If the hydrocele is large, and your testicle (testis) cannot be felt, the fluid may be drained with a needle and syringe. This is helped by injecting local anaesthetic into the overlying skin to make the procedure painless. Once the fluid is removed, your testes can then be examined more easily.

Sometimes an ultrasound scan of your testes will be advised. This can check your testes to make sure there is no underlying cause for the hydrocele.


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What are the treatments for hydrocele




Surgery may be recommended if your hydrocele is large or uncomfortable. The operation for a hydrocele involves making a very small cut in the scrotum or lower tummy (abdominal) wall. The fluid is then drained from around the testicle (testis). The passage between the abdomen and the scrotum will also be sealed off so the fluid cannot re-form in the future. This is a minor operation and is performed as a day case, so does not usually involve an overnight stay in the hospital. A hydrocele may return after surgery but this is very uncommon.


The fluid can be drained easily with a needle and syringe. However, following this procedure, it is common for the sac of the hydrocele to refill with fluid within a few months. Draining every now and then may be suitable though, if you are not fit for surgery or if you do not want an operation.


Sclerotherapy is the injection of a solution to stop the hydrocele recurring after having it drained. This is not commonly undertaken but may be offered to some people who are not suitable to have an operation.

Please view this PDF for further information: Hydrocele

What are the treatment costs?

Consultation costs:

Consultations: £195

Follow up appointments: £150

Treatment costs:

Cost of hydrocele repair under local anaesthetic as an outpatient: £1100

Cost of hydrocele repair under GA as a day case: £1913

If you have any further queries regarding finance and your treatment cost – then please contact us on 0117 980 4118

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