How is adult hydrocele treated?

There are no drugs available to treat adult hydrocele, although pain medication may help relieve any discomfort.

Surgery may be needed to repair/drain a hydrocele if it causes pain, if there might be an infection, or if the hydrocele becomes too large. A large hydrocele can become embarrassing or threaten the normal functioning of other structures in the scrotum. The doctor also may suggest surgery if the scrotal ultrasound shows something more than a simple hydrocele. In this case, the doctor would remove tissue from the hydrocele and send it to a lab for diagnosis.

Surgery for a hydrocele involves making a cut in the scrotum, or in the groin area near the scrotum, in order to drain out the accumulated fluid. This procedure can usually be done at an outpatient surgical center using a local anesthetic or under light general anesthesia. It considered a minor surgery and the patient goes home the same day.

The use of a needle to drain out fluid is no longer as common a procedure as it was in the past. However, it may still be used in cases of patients with heart problems or who are taking blood thinners.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy