Have Hydrocele -- Weighing My Options

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I (a 42-year-old male) was diagnosed with a left testicle hydrocele a few months ago and was told I don't need the surgery, but can get it if I ever decide I want it. This website is the only place I've been able to find discussions on this topic, and from what I have read, it doesn't sound like anyone gets amazing results from the surgery. It sounds like most people find that the testicle with the hydrocele ends up being just as big as it was before the surgery, sometimes bigger, plus because of the way it gets stitched up, it doesn't hang normally and has hard spots. Does anyone disagree with this?

It occurred to me that people who have better experiences with the surgery may be less likely to post here, i.e., maybe we're more likely to hear from the men who weren't pleased with the post-surgery results. Is there anyone who is highly satisfied with the results of the surgery, especially anyone who had the surgery one or more years ago? I would really like to hear more success stories, if there are any, from men one or more years post-surgery.

In all honesty this has been one of the most stressful things I have ever experienced. I find myself ruminating about this all the time, to the point that it's sometimes hard to even think about anything else. I just want this damn thing to go away! I'm debating getting the surgery, but am worried that I may end up worse off based on comments I've read on here. I've yet to see even one before and after picture. I just wish there were more information out there on this.

For a while I was thinking about the idea of wrapping something around the hydrocele for a few months to keep it restricted, so that the excess fluid would be forced to be reabsorbed, which would hopefully increase the rate of reabsorption and make the hydrocele go away. I found a device called the Bull Bag made by a company called Perfect Fit; apparently it's a sex toy, but basically it wraps around your balls. I got one and tried it for a day, but it was very uncomfortable, and the testicle with the hydrocele kept coming out. I'm thinking now of maybe trying to constrict the testicle with some kind of cloth underwear device.

Currently my left hydrocele is about twice as big as the right one. I really want to get it back to normal.

Any comments, feedback, advice, etc., will be very much appreciated.

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  • Posted

    Twice as big is nothing - I don't think you should have the surgery. Just leave it be..

    If it starts getting for example 5 times bigger then you can think about it.

    Try not to think about it...

    If doctor told you that you don't need surgery then you don't need it. I think your doctor is a good doctor. 

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  • Posted

    I continued to think about this last night after having spent a fair amount of time yesterday reading discussions on hydroceles in these forums. One thing I began thinking about is the fact that the body is a system. The second doctor I saw about the hydrocele alluded to this, and pointed out that my hydrocele is in fact continuously draining, it's just that it is now draining more slowly than it used to. He explained that the surgery (I'm not referring to 'aspiration', which I think some people confuse with the full surgery; 'aspiration' is simply sticking in a needle and extracting the excess fluid, which then usually refills) basically makes it impossible for the hydrocele to re-develop. The surgery sounds pretty drastic, basically it involves a pretty drastic reconfiguring of the testicle pouch so that there is no longer any place where the fluid can collect. So what I am inferring from this (and my impression is that scientists don't even yet have a full understanding of how this works) is that the fluid is basically forced to be reabsorbed back into the body. So assuming that that is how the surgery works, then this would mean that you could also force the fluid to be reabsorbed more rapidly by finding some way to place a continual, gentle, ongoing 'squeeze' on the hydrocele. Last night I tried wearing the 'Bull Bag' that I referred to yesterday, and had more success wearing it at home (it's harder to wear at work, under clothes, sitting at a desk, etc.). At times it was a challenge to squeeze the larger testicle into the Bull Bag, but after wearing it for a while I swear it did seem that the hydrocele did become a little bit smaller. Basically what I need to do is to figure out how to get the fluid to reabsorb more rapidly. I think that regularly massaging the groin area above the testicles and the testicles themselves (especially the one with the hydrocele) is one way to stimulate this reabsorption, which (according to the 2nd doctor I saw) most likely happens through the lymph nodes--which I think I probably damaged while working out with a very heavy bar across my groin area a few months ago. I've been thinking about other ways I could stimulate reabsorption of the fluid, and one idea I have is to apply cold treatment. Putting a cold pack down there is going to get the testicles to draw up into the body, which I assume would encourage the body to simultaneously start absorbing more of the fluid that would also be drawn up into the body. Also, although I've found that it's too challenging to wear the Bull Bag at work, I was thinking it might be a good idea to start putting some kind of bandaging over the hydrocele testicle to give it a very gentle squeeze and hold it more closely to the body. It seems that this would encourage more reabsorption of the liquid. Sometimes, when I get really frustrated with the hydrocele, I will squeeze it as hard as I can without it hurting, and I swear after doing this for a while it does seem to shrink a bit, and at times my testicles will almost seem to be back to normal. So there does definitely seem to be some fluctuation going on. This is not just a static condition of fluid that has been stuck down there for months. Fluid is always flowing in and out, it's just that now it's flowing out more slowly. The question is, how do I stimulate increased outflow (reabsorption)? Unfortunately western medicine tends to focus less on systems, its two main interventions being medication and surgery (the money makers). I am honestly shocked at how little urologists really seem to know about the SYSTEMS that are involved in a hydrocele. And I believe that it is working with my body's systems that will help me to get my testicle back to a more normal size.

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    • Posted

      Does your Hydrocele go away during the night? When i wake up in the morning my Hydrocele is usually gone and then fills up during the afternoon.
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    • Posted

      No, never changed much at all.  

      Very happy with the operation though, had surgery 13 days ago, Hydrocele gone and back a big bigger than the other side but way smaller than it was before and far more comfortable - pretty much feeel like “normal” now.  Only pain post operation was from stitches but that was pretty minor - nothing like as painful as I had expected.

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  • Posted

    I also have a hydrocele that is very annoying.  It has been going on for

    8 years. Started with itch in scrotum. I believe it has to do with diet and inflammation.

    I can't take the step of surgery for fears of what the consequences may be and

    that it is not addressing the source.

    I have eaten lots of junk in my life. And still love the sugars. But I know its time

    to make a change.  I'm going to have to try extreme diet change, cold baths, 

    and other holistic type stuff first.

    I suggest you do the same.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for sharing man. It helps just to know I'm not alone in this. I agree that improved diet and cold treatment are helpful for everything. I'm already noticing some slight improvement. To me the surgery seems extreme and a bit disfiguring. Working with nature is the key. Blessings.

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    • Posted

      I have been researching this condition for 2+ years to treat my Hydrocele. If you want me to share what I've found that works send me a message.

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  • Posted

    I posted about this yesterday, but it got deleted by a moderator. I don't know why, so let me try again. My continued research on this topic led me to discover an article about a procedure called ASPIRATION AND SCLEROTHERAPY by Francis & Levine (2013) in the Journal of Urology. You can look it up on PubMed. I read the entire article (Dr. Levine has it posted on his website), and I am convinced this is the best way to treat a hydrocele. Sadly most urologists do not seem to offer this intervention, even though it was published in the Journal of Urology. I found another message board where people say men travel from all over to get the procedure done with Dr. Levine in Chicago. I may do the same if I can't find anyone in NYC who does it the same way. What I love about this procedure is that it doesn't involve any surgery or cutting, just removal of the excess liquid, and then insertion of a powerful antibiotic that prevents the hydrocele from re-forming.

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    • Posted

      Aspiration might work, but don’t expect the result to be perfect. I got my hydrocele aspirated maybe 4 times and after the aspiration something was injected inside... The hydrocele reduced in size but was not completely gone so I told the doctor to try again... Every time the hydrocele came back within days, but the last time it got bigger than before the aspiration. 

      After that I decided to go for the surgery. 

      Now that I think about it, after the first time where I got it aspirated and something was injected after the aspiration, I should have stayed content, because it reduced in size and there was no problem. But I wanted to have it gone completely, so I got it aspirated again (with the metod where something is injected afterwards). And like I said the last time it ended up being a lot bigger. 

      Aspiration when they do not inject something afterwards is also possible and I have tried that too, maybe 4 times. It always returned... 

      If the hydrocele is small and does no cause discomfort I think the best thing is to let it be. 

      The surgery also has different metods. My problem is that the testicle does not hang low anymore... I think the metod used on my hydrocele was where some of the extra sac is removed and the rest of the sac is stitched behind the testicle. 

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    • Posted

      Going to Dr Levine is a no brainer!!

      He has done it for years!! I went there and I am 100% happy. Twice if needed in my opinion . The urologist in my area would not even talk about it . Money !! 

      One is 300 one 3000 !! 

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  • Posted

    I lived with an enlarged hydrocele for too long. While it did not hurt it was, without exaggeration, the size of a small coconut. I had to hide it with a strategically placed bag or newspaper when I walked down the street.

    For 7 years I was terrified of all the stories about the operation and after effects and during that time the hydrocele just kept getting bigger, month by month.

    Bendito, read my story of the op. Sure it hurts a bit, sure it means you move slowly for a few days.

    Get it done, you will not believe the relief, and the discomfort can be measured in days not years.

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  • Posted

    After years of a hydrocele, I finally stumbled across aspiration w/ sclerotherapy. I then spend another year talking with every urologist I could find in Salt Lake and Utah Valleys, with no success. I am convinced this is the best first choice for hydrocele, but most Urologists know basically nothing about it. Even when you show the studies, they refuse and say stuff like "it almost always comes back", and "it's just bad practice", even though the articles are from medical journals and clearly demonstrate cure rates are 50-100%. Finally I found a PA at St George Urology in St George UT who has experience with this using doxycycline, and is willing to do it for me with Phenol. I'm on a mission to spread the word now, after years of suffering daily with this issue and being dismissed when I wanted anything but surgery. I'm scheduled for Nov 20 for the procedure, so I'll post with the results.

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    • Posted

      I agree that one should first try aspiration with injection of “something” ( I don’t know the name).

      Please read my comment above, i.e. don’t expect to be cured completely. If you watch hydrocele surgery on youtube you can se why... The inject the stoff after aspiration and it makes the extra sac to get “glued” togetter so water cannot return. But the extra “sac” will remain. So it can reduce the problem... Maybe with a very small hydrocele the hydrocele will get cured completely.

      Anyway don’t make my mistake...  

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