What is a hydrocele?

A hydrocele is a collection of fluid that gradually develops around the testis, causing a lump to appear. This is harmless and only needs surgical intervention if it becomes painful or becomes bigger.

What happens during the operation?

The operation is carried out under general anaesthetic.
An incision (cut) is made in the scrotum allowing fluid to drain out of the hydrocele. The hydrocele sac is then either cut out, or stitched to the back of the testicle. The scrotum is then closed with dissolvable stitches.
The operation usually takes 20-30 minutes.

What happens after the operation?

You will be taken from the theatre to the recovery room, where you will be closely monitored until you are awake enough to return to the ward.
You may feel uncomfortable at first, but this can be controlled with painkillers such as Paracetamol.
You may have a small dressing but this can be removed when you have a bath or shower. Your stitches will dissolve within two to three weeks. You should wear briefs rather than boxer shorts for two to three weeks as these will provide some support.

How will I feel when I go home?

here may be some swelling of the scrotum after the operation and this can last for three months. You should take things easy for a week after the operation to allow the wound to heal.

Will it affect my sex life?

You can resume sexual activity as soon, as is comfortable for you.

What about follow-up by the hospital?

You will be sent an appointment to see your consultant to ensure the wound has healed. This will be for approximately six weeks after your operation.


All operations carry the risk of complications. However, general anaesthetics are very safe these days and you will have the opportunity to discuss these risks and complications with the anaesthetist prior to your operation. Any form of surgery carries the risk of you developing a chest infection, a clot in your lung or leg, bleeding during or after surgery, or developing cardiac problems. Your doctor will discuss all risks and complications with you when you attend the pre admission clinic.