Hydrocele Surgery

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I had my hydrocele surgery on February 15th, 2013 in Houston, Texas. I wanted to share my story as I was terrified before having the surgery from all the posts I read.

Mine was on my left side and was about the size of a small grapefruit. I was living with this hydrocele for about a year, but going to the gym started to get quite uncomfortable. I started to show a bulge even in my dress cloths for work. It was quite embarrassing and all I could think about was people staring at me and mumbling "whats wrong with this guy." I am married with my first child on the way so I wasn't to worried about what some single guys worry about.

The day of the surgery I was pretty terrified, I work in Healthcare so being on the other side of the privacy curtain was pretty dramatic for me. I wasn't as much scared about the surgery as I was being put to sleep. I am 27 years old, live in Texas with my pregnant wife. My entire family all reside in Indiana, as we moved down to Houston 3 years ago. I kept thinking "What if I don't wake up?", "Ill never meet my kid", "I wont get a chance to say goodbye to my family.".... I questioned the anesthesiologist for about 5 straight minutes on what I could expect. They put in an IV and started pumping me full of water to hydrate me. This did calm me down a bit, then they gave me some valium. I highly recommend this before getting put out for anyone, this really calms you down. They rolled me into the surgery part, put a gas mask on me and I was out.

The surgery took about 30 minutes and I woke up about 30 minutes after that. Obviously when you come out of being put to sleep you are very groggy and confused. I couldn't feel any pain. I got dressed and the nurse rolled me to my wifes car and we went home.

I had about 10 stitches (dissolving ones) and a drain tube inserted to help reduce swelling. The first day wasn't bad as everything was numb. When I woke up the second day I had a migraine from hell. Probably from all the drugs the day before. It was hard to walk, but I didn't have any problems peeing.

The third day the pain started to come, honestly the stitches never hurt from beginning to where I am now. The pain I had was from the drain tube. Do not be alarmed when you have a lot of blood from the drain tube for the first 3-4 days, its normal. My surgery was on Friday and the drain tube was removed on Monday.

Swelling. Lots of swelling, expect this. Swelling will most likely be bigger than what the hydrocele was before it was removed. Looked like I was carrying around a softball in my pants. It has been three weeks and the stitches are gone and the drain tube hole is closing. I still have some pain from where the drain tube was, but not to bad. I am walking fine and going back to the gym tomorrow. Swelling has gone down, but still noticable. Feels like a hard rock sitting on top of my testicle. You have to remember, the testicles and sac are very vascular. Lots of tissue and what not so you will have swelling and bruising.

The swelling is smaller now than the original hydrocele and it can take a few months to fully go away. They say people can live with a hydrocele with no long term effects other than it getting bigger, but honestly, why would you want to do this? It's not normal, so why risk anything by just accepting that it is there. Get the surgery done and move on. You will be laid out for about 4 days. I was back to work on Tuesday (Surgery on Friday). Let me know if you have any other questions, don't read into all the horror stories. Everybody's body is different and if you have a solid doctor, they will take care of you.

I was asked about costs. I am on a high deductible plan with my wife to keep our monthly premium low as we are pretty healthy people. The doctor fee was $350. The surgery center is where it gets you. For everything it was $4,900. So in total for me out of pocket was $5,200. Fortuantely I have a HSA account and had the finances in that which are all tax deductible. Just depends on the type of insurance you have. My deductible is now met, so with the little one being born all doctors visits will be paid 100% in full for the rest of the year.

Also- Find a good doctor. It's your body, so always get a second opinion. Make sure you are comfortable with the Urologist

Good luck


9 likes, 148 replies


148 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi matt12

    I've had my Hydrocele sense age 12, it was a pea size, now 54 it's as large as my left tactical situated below it like a third tactical, I saw one doctor three years ago, he had a nurse do the jelly thing and monitor on screen, they hadn't done this procedure before I could see because I was told to shut up right out, I was curious and full of questions but was treated as if I was going to rape her or something, the farthest thing from my mind, once the procedure was done the doctor was insulted I was sent to his office, he was obnoxious to me telling me he could only drain it and it would fill back up again in time, it would be a waste of his time to do anything, recently Doctor Ozz, a tv Doctor spoke of Hydrocele's, he said they make it hard for men to become fathers which I agree now having no children and three relationships later failed but you've done better then I, I congratulate you matt12 on your fathering a child, it's to late for me, but you have opened my eyes beyond what I've experienced with this thing, there is comfort beyond constantly

    having to adjust things or sit legs wide and still adjust, I have had other Doctors inspect things in the past and each time I was told there's nothing out of the ordinary there though I knew better, if I had better insurance I know I to would get better medical attention but no doctor wants to do anything due there greed sticking it's ugly head in the way of ones health, it's a shame the medical system has to promote greed, thank you for sharing your story, not much help but I now know there is comfort though I'll never know it.


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  • Posted

    Just got home from the hydrocele surgery. Matt's post matches my experience. Thanks Matt. It is now about midnight and I have one complaint .... I can not stop peeing.... no matter how much I go I have to go more. I am hoping this is a temporary side effect from today. Maybe I will call and ask the doctor about it tomorrow ..... a anyone out there have a similar experience in the 1st 8 hours or so after the surgery?
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  • Posted

    Matt, after almost 1.5 year later, how are the results?  Is the swelling completely gone?  Did the hydrocele come back?
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  • Posted

    Okay, I too am faced with this issue.   I would like some feedback.  My right testicle gets big, then small again.   Had an ultra sound and was informed everything was normal, healthy etc.   Doc says I need to get an operation to remove a remenant of my birth - a fetal hydrocele - and I don't buy it.   Say's there is a sac around my testicle still remaining.   I am now 55.   Say's they need to do a surgery to remove the sac around my testicle that should have been gone after I was born.   I would let this go as the fluid seems to disappear on it's own but the big swelling is a big pain sometimes.   I also, someimes, pee in dribbles.   At night I can wet the bed with small slow drips that end up as a pool.  

    Tomorow or tonight it will get bigger or smaller.

    Personally I do not want surgery.   I do not like doctors.

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    • Posted

      Dont be scared of the surgery, its a cakewalk. i had mine done this last friday the 27th. first surgery for me for any reason and as soon as anesthesia kicked in it was awesome, best sleep in a while. i too had the monster hydrocele, doctor said it was the largest hes ever seen (hung halfway down my thigh), but now four days later im about 50% the size it was pre-op, which im fine with because everything ive read so far others are normally swollen bigger than before surgery.

      As for it getting bigger and then decreasing size, my doc explained there are two different types, communicative and non-communicative. basically thes a hole in your abdomen going to your scrotum that allows the fluid to move back and forth. lucky! mine was just big the whole time.

      And as to what causes it and makes a difference... theres really no cause from what ive heard and read just happens and theres not much that ive read that will make a difference besides actually getting the procedure done.

      Hope ive given you some helpful insight, and please ignore my spelling and grammar errors as im typing with my xbox controller.

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    • Posted

      I have the same problem and I am scared to get it done like really scared. I never had surgery before and never been put under. I had it for like 5 years now and it's gets really annoying when trying to sleep. 
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    • Posted

      I had mine done to avoid exactly what you are talking about! It is a sac filled with fluid and it will keep filling and draining off and on! I work in the OR as a Scrub Nurse and can tell you after having it done and wondering if it would ever be normal again, I would do it again. I am not trusting of doctors either but, have a few that I will let work on me if necessary.!Not a painfull surgery, quick recovery, and it wont come back! Took a while for swelling after surgery to go down because it is a very vascular area but, it does go away! Wear compression breifs after and try to put your legs and feet up after surgery.
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  • Posted

    Thanks for this description...even though it is getting dated now.  I had a similar experience to you.  The repair was done 15 days ago...in the Canadian health care system...at no cost.

    On day 7 I was still quite swollen,and had considerable burning when I urinated, so went to a GP, and he ordered an ulta sound which was done on day 14.  Much of the pain is gone now.  It was reduced when I read that an athletic support would work to reduce pain.  The hospital had installed elastic pants, but these put pressure on he incision etc...but the supporter worked to reduce hanging weight on the scrotum.  I am still wearing the supporter for comfort.

    My only concern now is the size of the right testicle (twice the left testicle)  where the hydrocele was.  It is very hard, although I can now feel where the testicle is and the package wrapped behind it.  The testicle also seems to be fastened to the incision...But it is better than the very large swollen scrottum at day 7.

    I will be seeing the urologist again on day 23 (now day 15)

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    • Posted

      Not sure if there is any difference in procedures as I am from the states (Massachusetts) but I had my hydrocelectomy done on August 7th and my testicle is still quite swollen. I saw my Urologist about 4 weeks after my surgery and he didnt seem too concerned as long as there was no infection (I did have an SSI infection he put me on Cypro but that went away and incision healed fine but scar is still noticeable) he said he didnt want to see me again till December. From what I have read the testicle can remain swollen and hard for up to 6 months (in some cases longer) after surgery dependeing on different variables but the pain should subside after 4-6 weeks (mine did). I am hoping that this is true and my testicle reduces in size (about the size of a chicken egg now) as I had torsion as a teenager(im 37 now with 3 kids so having the one didn't hinder reproduction)my right testicle had to be removed (Dr. miss diagnosed) I had a fake one put in but now with the egg sized left one it looks quite noticeable and has killed any confidence I had and being recently divorced it just overall sucks. My urologist told me to wear tight underwear for as long as possible to help reduce swelling and prevent the scrotum from being overly stretched due to the size and weight of the testicle. 
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    • Posted

      Hi Patsfan,

      I am convinced that my hydrocele is impacting my fertility and testicular function. I know you have a family so everything is in obvios working order? Was your hydro big and comunicating? Did you ever get any additional tests done with regards to impact on fertility before / after op?


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    • Posted

      I had surgery 5 days ago, In Toronto. Everything went ok and I did not

      even need to take pain pills. Not much pain.

      First 2 days, everything was ok. The third day swelling started, mine getting bigger

      and bigger, almost same size as before surgery. Ice packs worked (more or less)

      for one day-ie minor decrease of the swell. I think that my constipation (after

      anesthesia) played a role. But from what I see here swelling is common and can last for 

      months. Is a second hydro-ceclotomy necessary ? Should I go to ER (emergency


      I use now jockstraps like wrestling jockstraps. They offer better support.

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    • Posted

      Hey Apple

      Mind if I ask who did you surgery here in Toronto? I'm looking to get mine done and I was referred to Dr Roger Buckley.

      How is everything looking and feeling three months into the surgery?

      Report Reply

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