Also found in: Dictionary.




Hydrocelectomy is a surgical procedure to remove a hydrocele. A hydrocele is collected fluid in the membrane surrounding the testes.


Hydrocelectomy is performed to relieve the pain or reoccurrence of a hydrocele. Normally, hydroceles are not very painful. They tend to be a soft swelling in the membrane surrounding the testes. As the hydrocele grows, the scrotum gets larger. Hydroceles do not damage the testes. The main symptom is scrotal swelling. There are two types of hydroceles depending on how they form. One type is seen in children, generally shortly after birth. It is caused by a failure of the processus vaginalis to close. Usually, surgery isn't used to treat hydrocele until after two years of age because the processus vaginalis frequently closes by itself if given extra time. In adults, hydroceles develop slowly. Most hydroceles develop because of blocked lymphatic flow. Hydroceles also develop after infection, injury, or local cancer tumors. Generally, hydroceles are treated by aspiration of the collected fluid. To do this, a needle is inserted into the scrotum and directed toward the hydrocele. Once there, as much fluid as possible is removed. Hydroceles can reoccur. Rarely, hydroceles grow larger and cause pain. Surgery is used to remove large or painful hydroceles. It is also the recommended procedure to remove hydroceles that reoccur after aspiration. Hydroceles are distinguished from other testicular problems by transillumination and scrotal ultrasound examinations.


No special precautions are required for hydrocelectomy. It is typically performed on an outpatient basis.


Aspiration of the fluid in a hydrocele is usually successful. However, aspiration may be only a temporary solution because of the potential that the hydrocele will reoccur. Generally, surgical repair of a hydrocele will eliminate the hydrocele. The extent of the surgery depends on whether other factors are present. If the hydrocele is uncomplicated, an incision is made in the scrotum. The hydrocele is cut out, removing the tissues involved in the hydrocele. If there are complications present, such as a hernia, an incision is made in the inguinal (groin) area. This approach allows repair of hernias and other complicating factors at the same time. Patients are placed under general anesthesia for these operations.


A physician or nurse will explain the procedure and, in some cases, the need for a temporary drain to be inserted. The drain lessens the chance of infection and prevents fluid build-up.


Following surgery, the patient usually only needs a follow-up examination several weeks after the surgery to examine the incision and to check for signs of infection.


There is a slight risk of infection and internal hemorrhage as well as a chance of excessive bleeding from the surgical incision.

Normal results

There may be swelling of the scrotum for up to a month. The patient is able to resume most activities within 7-10 days, although heavy lifting and sexual activities may be delayed for up to six weeks. The hydrocele does not grow back.

Abnormal results

Swelling that lasts for several months is sometimes a complication of hydrocelectomy. Infection can also occur.



Way, Lawrence W., editor. Current Surgical Diagnosis and Treatment. 10th ed. Stamford: Appleton & Lange, 1994.

Key terms

Aspiration — The process of removing fluids or gases from the body by suction.
Hernia — The protrusion of an organ or tissue through a wall that normally contains it.
Hydrocele — An accumulation of fluid in the membrane surrounding the testes (tunica vaginalis testis).


excision of a hydrocele.


Excision of a hydrocele by drainage of its fluids and sometimes, partial excision of tunical vaginalis.
[hydrocele + G. ektomē, excision]


Surgical excision of a hydrocele.


Excision of a hydrocele.
[hydrocele + G. ektomē, excision]


excision of a hydrocele.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Current management measures for elephantiasis do not result in full recovery, whereas fear inhibits uptake of hydrocelectomy.
Be sensitive to the perceptions that limb elevation and bandaging have side effects and do not provide potent cure; patients' fear of death and cost of the procedure remains an issue in hydrocelectomy though this significantly improves quality of life (Grade B)
3,4) In an effort to minimize complications while maintaining comparable treatment success rates, we developed a novel subinguinal hydrocelectomy with gubernacular sparing.
All hydrocelectomy procedures were performed in the outpatient setting.
The remaining patients had recurrence after 2nd session and underwent hydrocelectomy.
Comparison of aspiration-sclerotherapy with hydrocelectomy in the management of hydrocele: a prospective randomized study.
The patients were selected randomly and underwent various urologic surgical operations such as prostatectomy, varicocelectomy and hydrocelectomy, in Imam Hospital in Tabriz, Iran.
16 "definitely" core procedures with 90-100% agreement among Canadian urologists responding to the survey Procedure % agreement Cystoscopy and insertion of stent 100% Direct vision internal urethrotomy 100% Transurethral resection of prostate 100% Transurethral resection of bladder tumour 100% Ureteroscopy and laser lithotripsy of 100% ureteral stone Hydrocelectomy 100% Radical orchiectomy 100% Reduction of testicular torsion 100% Circumcision 99.
We identified patients who had both a relevant Canadian Classification of Health Intervention (CCI) code and a matching OHIP billing code for one of the following five procedures: circumcision, hydrocelectomy, open radical prostectomy, transurethral prostectomy, or mid-urethral sling.
7] The strategy for achieving this goal is by annual mass drug administration (MDA) single-dose DEC (6 mg/kg body weight) for at least 5 years to the entire population of an endemic district (excluding children under 2 years, pregnant women, and severely ill patients) and home-based management of lymphoedema cases and hydrocelectomy operations in identified community health centers (CHCs) and hospitals.
The patient then underwent concurrent left hydrocelectomy and partial cystectomy.
In 2008 he had a hydrocelectomy, and a repeat procedure in 2010.