Men's Health

What to Expect After a Hydrocelectomy

What to Expect After a Hydrocelectomy

Key Takeaways

  • The accumulation of fluid in the testicles is common, especially in newborns and infants, but usually disappears without treatment after the first year of life. 
  • In babies, the operation is referred to as hernia repair.
  • In adult males, it may be as a result of inflammation or injury within the scrotum.

Hydrocelectomy is a type of surgery that aims to correct the swelling that occurs in the scrotum. This procedure is done to repair a hydrocele.

What is a hydrocele?

A hydrocele is a fluid-filled sac that is located around the testicles. The accumulation of fluid in the testicles is common, especially in newborns and infants, but usually disappears without treatment after the first year of life. In adult males, it may be as a result of inflammation or injury within the scrotum.

In some instances, a hydrocele may result from an abnormal bulging of tissues.

Hydrocelectomy

This procedure is usually performed at outpatient clinics. As with most surgical operations, an anesthesia is necessary to keep the pain away. The procedure also depends on whether the patient is a baby or an adult.

In babies, the operation is referred to as hernia repair. A small cut is made in the fold of the groin. The fluid is then drained and the hydrocele removed. The muscle walls are then strengthened with stitches. The procedure might seem very scary in children since a pipe for breathing is usually placed down the throat, which may cause a sore throat to the child.

In adults, the cut is usually on the scrotum. The fluid is then drained after the hydrocele sac is removed.

What to Expect After a Hydrocelectomy 

The following are some things to expect after undergoing a hydrocelectomy:

  • You will no longer have an opening between the scrotum and your stomach, which will stop the fluid buildup in the scrotum.
  • A mild pain in the groin area is usually experienced after a hydrocelectomy. The pain may last up to a week after the surgery.
  • In addition to the pain, the groin and the scrotum may swell or become bruised. However, these effects often go away after 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Recovery from a hydrocelectomy usually takes a very short period of time. You may be able to return to your normal day-to-day activities a week after or even just a few days after the surgery. However, vigorous exercises should be avoided for another 2 to 3 weeks to achieve full recovery.
  • As in other surgical procedures, recovery time is different from person-to-person. 
  • In some cases, a white substance that looks like glue is seen over the incision. A little blood stain can also be seen on the skin, which is quite normal. You should not panic when you see such staining. 
  • Bruising and swelling are also seen in most patients. However, the extent of swelling and bruising is not always predictable as it varies from each patient. 
  • Itching usually follows after a hydrocelectomy procedure, which is considered normal during the healing process. If there is itchiness, it does not necessarily mean that your child is in pain.

Measures for Quick Recovery

In order to accelerate your healing and reduce your recovery time, the following activities should be undertaken:

  • Take a walk: Walking is an ideal exercise that helps improve the flow of blood through the body. It is not a strenuous activity as compared to other forms of exercises. It is also recommended for patients to develop the habit of having regular walks. You could start by walking a short distance and gradually walk farther day after day.
  • Avoid activities that require a lot of energy: Immediately after the surgery, you are still weak and should not engage in activities that require a lot of energy. Notice how it is advisable to take walks instead of jogging? Yes, strenuous activities such as jogging should be avoided along with aerobics or bicycle riding.
  • Bathing: After the surgery, care should be taken when taking a bath. Furthermore, a shower should only be taken 24 hours after the surgery. The area where the cut was made should be pat dry.
  • Get some rest: Like other patients, you should allow your body to have a lot of rest after the surgery. Sleeping is the best form of rest, which can significantly help in your recovery process.
  • Getting back to your normal life: A period of at least four days up to a week should be observed before engaging in day-to-day activities.
  • Dietary intake: When it comes to what you eat, you should be more concerned. Check on the following aspects of your diet:
    • Take fluids in plenty: Drinking a lot of fluids will prevent you from being dehydrated.
    • Avoid high-fat foods - If you experience problems such as stomach upset, you should refrain from eating foods that are high in fat. Foods such as plain rice, yogurt, toast, and broiled chicken can be taken instead. 
    • Take a daily fiber supplement: Fiber prevents you from straining whenever you need to make a bowel movement. After surgery, your bowel movement will not easily return to normal; hence, the need for fiber.
    • Constipation: A mild laxative can also be taken if there is an absence of bowel movements for a couple of days. However, laxatives should only be taken after consulting with your doctor.

Alarming Signs After a Hydrocelectomy

After a hydrocelectomy, all is well except when you experience the following:

  • an increased swelling in the scrotum 
  • your stitches become loose or when the incision breaks open
  • the bandage covering the incision becomes soaked with bright red blood
  • fever, where body temperature rises above normal
  • pain that does not stop even after taking pain medications
  • infection that may be indicated by pus or swollen lymph nodes in the groin

If in case you experience these signs, consult your doctor right away.

Bottom Line

After a hydrocelectomy, you can go home and recover in the comfort of your home. However, discomforts may be experienced over the incision in some instances. During the recovery process, strenuous activities should be avoided. The healing process after the surgery varies from person-to-person, which largely depends on what you do after the surgery.

Do not sit back when you realize that there is an abnormal swelling in your testicles. Seek medical assistance as soon as the observation is made.