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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Men's Health Hydrocele or processus vaginalis

Hydrocele or processus vaginalis

Hydrocele is a fluid filled sac surrounding a testicle that results in swelling in the scrotum which is the loose bag of skin below the penis. It can occur in one in 10 infants and disappears by the first year of life. They present as painless swelling in the scrotum.

It is also called as processus vaginalis, patent processus vaginalis. It is the fluid accumulation around the testicle. It is the most common benign condition. Most hydroceles are congenital and are noted in children aged 1-2 years. Secondary hydroceles occur in the maled aged more than 40. It is the accumulation of the serous fluid between two layers of the tunica vaginalis, a sac which sorrounds the testis.

Causes of hydrocele

During development the testicle descend down a tube from the abdomen to the scrotum. Hydrocele develops when this tube fails to close. The fluid in the abdomen drains through his tube and accumulates in the scrotum, leading to swelling of scrotum.

Some times it may be associated with inguinal hernia.

Risk factor for developing Hydrocele

Symptoms of hydrocele

It usually presents as painless swollen testicle either on one side or both side.

Tests and diagnosis

  • Physical examination.
  • Trans illumination test: In this a flash light is shined through the enlarged scrotum. If it is Hydrocele which is filled with clear fluid the swelling also shines up.
  • Testicular ultrasound.

Treatment of hydrocele

Aspiration of the fluid can be performed.

Surgery: It includes removal of hydrocele. Surgical excision or hydrocelectomy is performed


  • Infection or tumor: It can impair sperm production or sperm function.
  • Inguinal hernia.