Hydrocele - Symptom
Processus vaginalis; Patent processus vaginalis
The main symptom is a painless, swollen testicle , which feels like a water balloon. A hydrocele may occur on one or both sides.
Signs and tests:
During a physical exam, the doctor usually finds an swollen scrotum that is not tender. Often, the testicle cannot be felt because of the surrounding fluid. The size of the fluid-filled sack can sometimes be increased and decreased by pressure to the abdomen or the scrotum.
If the size of the fluid collection varies, it is more likely to be associated with an inguinal hernia.
Hydroceles can be easily demonstrated by shining a flashlight (transillumination) through the enlarged portion of the scrotum. If the scrotum is full of clear fluid, as in a hydrocele, the scrotum will light up.
An ultrasound may be done to confirm the diagnosis.
- Reviewed last on: 12/15/2010
- Erik T. Goluboff, MD, Professor, Department of Urology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Sandlow JI, Winfield HN, Goldstein M. Surgery of the scrotum and seminal vesicles. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 34.
Schneck FX, Bellinger MF. Abnormalities of the testes and scrotum and their surgical management. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 127.
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