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


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  • Posted

    Hey thanks Matt 

    I'm waiting for the call from dr. To schedule my hydrocelectomy. I have had a hydrocele on my left side for over 34 years now. It is probably about two times the size of my normal testical so not huge but still kind of uncomfortable. The first time I noticed it was after getting kicked when I was about 12 years old and then it seems to develop after that. Over the years I notice that it would shrink a little in the morning and grow during the day. Not a whole lot but enough to notice. At times during the night I would wake up with very sharp pain in the area just above my testical. I found that sitting up would relieve the pain quite quickly. So I would spend a night on the couch maybe once every other month. That's actually subsided and it happened maybe once in the last 2 years. I went to my doctor maybe 4-5 years ago and had him look at it. He did an illumination test by turning out the lights and shinning a flashlight through my sac. It lit up and you could see that there was fluid around my testical. At that time he said eh...if it's not bothering you don't worry about it. Well it was bothering me but I had dealt with it so long I just figured someday I will have it fixed. Recently I got on a rowing machine for a quick row and within a day or so it swelled up and got hard and I had a new bulge just above where the hydrocele was normally. I thought it might be a hernia on top of it all but the dr. says probably not. He called it an aggravated hydrocele. He said he will look while he is in there and fix anything that is wrong. He said sometimes they stich things up so the don't twist inside after they remove the hydrocele. I guess that helps from " cow belling" (ouch) Another thing he mentioned is that some dr. will turn the sac inside out and stich it behind ( a common practice) but sometimes that can leave you with a funny lumpy looking testical so he removes most of the sac then closes it back around the testical. 

    I hope this will help anyone having these issues. I waited a long time to deal with it but I'm glad to be doing it now. Sometimes you just have to deal with things and get them over with. I have not had my surgery yet so can't comment on that yet but I have read a few stories and it has been very helpful to understand what to expect.

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    • Posted


      Had surgery on Feb 20 2015

      ill go into a little detail for anyone getting ready or still on the fence. 

       Showed up early morning. After answering a few questions I got my IV put in and then talked with the nurse and anesthesiologist for a bit on how it was all going to go down. 

       Then they wheeled me into the op room and slide me over on to the table. Two nurse started sticking probe things on my chest and side and then the room started spinning. The ologist said you feeling that? and BAM it was over. Woke up in another room and after a little bit I was able to get dressed and I had to pee before they would let me go home. I tryed not to look at anything at that time and just did what I had to do to pee. i really wasn't in much pain at all at that time.

       Went to drug store and got persciptions for a 3day antibiotic and oxy codon. Went home and straight to bed. My wife had made some 8"x3" freezer sealed bags about 3/4 full of peas. ( now known in the house as "the scrotal peas" ) they work great because you can break them up and shape the bag and it does not leak and can be reused. Laying on my back I placed a towel on my legs and then carefully placed the scrotal peas ( which were placed in a thin shirt). At first I still had my gauze and jock strap from the hospital so it wasn't very cold. Nurse said that you have to use ice then give it some time for blood flow then go back to ice. Can't just ice all the time. I was probably hour on half hour off. I took oxy as prescribed every 4 hours until next day. Oh yeah if you have pets use a couple of light stuffed animals or pillows placed on the area so you don't get the sudden cat or dog jumping on balls! Seems to keep them away. smile

       Pain was very minimal laying flat on back and not bad on side after a couple of days. The real pain is trying to go from laying down to sitting and then to standing. Feels like the testical is pulling down on the veins and tubes so it's a testical pain and a lower abdominal pain. Once standing it worsens then subsides after a bunch of squinting, groaning, and funny faces! After a few days it still hurts but not as bad. Same pains just a little less intense. I can go pee and walk around a bit then it's back to bed  or couch and oxy.

       After 24-30 hours I took a quick shower and checked everything out. My doc had said "think egg plant" so I was expecting the worst. It wasn't bad at all. A 3" incision about 3/4 the way up my scrotum on the left side. Some people have it through the abdomen wall above it all but mine was in the scrotum as the doc had told me. Bruising was maybe size of an egg just around the incision. Swelling seems to be lessening but I'm just about the same size as I was before the surgery. Don't expect to come out looking like it was never there. As I'm sure you've read it can take a while for things to start looking like they should down there so just do like me and hang tight. 

       Things are clearing up now 5 days in but still hurts getting up and I tryed standing for about an hour today and it was a little much. So back to sitting and laying down. I take an oxy or some asetamenaphen every once in a while but the pain is almost non existent until I try to get up or stand around for too long.

       I used some feminine pads to place over the wound and I have a couple of jock straps that I always use so far.(one at a time of course) Worked good just don't let anything get stuck to anything! 

       Just slight seapage from the wound. I didn't not have a drain tube so no issues there. 

       Hmm I hope that wasn't too much info. 

      Oh one more thing... If you are prescribed oxy codon you might want to think about grabbing some stool softener. I have heard it can really plug you up. I took one a day since the surgery and everything is fine. 

       Well I'll come back after a while and let you all know how it's going. So far I'm super glad I got this done and I'm looking forward to life without a hydrocele. 


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    • Posted

      Just to add some info here. Not meaning to muddy the hydrocele waters.I read on another website that some guy with a swollen and irritated testicle took Flowmax or some other prostate shrinking drug, and that got rid of the swelling. I think he may have had a different problem though, like epididymitis or spermatocele, not a classic hydrocele. Apparently the flow of sperm out of the testicle was blocked due to the swelling of the prostate, and reducing the prostate swelling allowed the flow to resume along whatever tube was taking the sperm away, thereby relieving the swelling of the top of the testicle (epididymis). Anybody had any luck with Flowmax?  Just asking, maybe dreaming, since it would be great to just take a drug and get rid of the hydro !!!    


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    • Posted


      While there are many blog posts on this thread, I printed out your comments, perhaps hoping my surgery would be similar to yours.  Your posting was very comprehensive and gave me tools to be prepared for issues that follow surgery.  I actually used your post as my guide to recovery.

      I am happy to report to you and others that my surgery and recovery went pretty much like yours.  I am five days post surgery and have no pain, very slight swelling, and only slight spotting at the surgery site. I took the prescribed Tylenol with Codiene for about twelve hours until I realized that no pain was going to present itself.  It already feels like days of old prior to hydrocele, comfort in compreshen shorts and ease of urination.

      One thing I might add to your post is that I am blessed to have a motorhome in the back yard equipped with electrically operated reclining chairs.  This gave me the opportunity to avoid our rescue dogs who delight in jumping on us as we lay in bed.  The recliners makes a huge difference in moving from laying to sitting to standing.  While I don't have residual pain, it is a bit uncomfortable to change positions.  I recommend anyone going through this surgery have a recliner during recovery, even if you have to rent one.  

      I realize I am blessed to be recovering without some of the issues described by others.  I wish everyone considering this surgery a speedy and comfortable recovery. 

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  • Posted

    Hello everybody, I just passed the second week of recovery after a hydrocele operation.I had a huge hydrocele since I was 11 yo,now I'm almost 22.well absolutely you're surprised how could i bare this but honestly i was neglecting the increasing in size all the time and say it's normal or it gonna be better soon, but mostly I was shy to reach an urulugist because this is a sensitive area.finally I took the right choice and decided to visit an urulugist because I can't live with this anymore.I can't deny that my huge hydrocele ruined my social life and make me embarassed to wear some types of clothing that show a bulk thing going out of my underwear also it's uncomfortable.I Decided to get the surgery done whatever the result is.2nd week after surgery although I'm feeling some pain and swelling but really I'm glad to get this thing done.2 weeks of pain and 3 or 4 months to see the result.I wish i gave some possitive idea about this operation.Don't panic, visit a good urulugist and be comfortable.Remember that a good urulugist can give you more confidence for the result. Sorry if you found some grammar mistakes,English isn't my mother language lol.
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  • Posted

    Matt, I had my hydrocele surgery January 20. I work in surgery so, I knew the surgeon and what to expect in surgery. I did not however have any idea about the swelling after and my surgeon must have thought I knew already because he didnt tell me. My question to you is, how long did it take for your testicle to look like a testicle again? Mine is on the right and post surgery, the size of a lemon. It takes up my entire scrotal sack and my left testicle is the size of a grape. I am a month out from surgery and wondering if it will ever be the normal size again? It is literally larger now than before surgery. I had no drain because he said mine was so small to start with but, like you. Mine swelled to the size of a softball after surgery.
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  • Posted

    I am now 5 months since surgery on the right side.  There is no pain now, and everything seems to be working OK.  I am in a hot climate in Mexico, and even with the scrotum being stretched because of the heat, it is not nearly as  big as before surgery.  I too was surprised at the size of the swelling.  The testicle is now is about the size of an unshelled small walnut. Shortly after surgery the whole works looked like a sumo wrestler with a small head!  But now things are back to near normal.  Even if it does not get any smaller, it is a heck of a lot better than before.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply. The sack is normal size but, the testicle itself has me a little scared. If you can remember, about when did it (testicle) start looking and feeling normal? Like I said before, the testicle itself is about the size of a lemon at 4 weeks post-op. It completely fills my sack. Would just like to look down at some point and see a lose sack and both boys hanging. I would be thrilled with a walnut!!
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    • Posted

      I am about 2 months post surgery(second one in 6 months) and my testicle is still the size of a small egg. I have read it can take up to 6 months to fully go down but it may also stay larger due to the trauma, I'm not sure what their idea of "larger" is though.
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    • Posted

      Hi William,

      I am very interested to hear if things got back to normal. My whole sac is swollen hard on the side after operation. It is only three weeks out but it feels like the testicle fills it completely about the size of a lemon as you described. Wanted to know what time did for you. Thanks for your timr

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    • Posted

      I was quite worried after three weeks, since the "initial post surgery swelling" where the skin was black/blue/red was gone but there was still a lot of swelling, almost the size of the original hydrocele. Give it some more time, for example 3 months. The swelling might never disappear completely, because of scar tissue. But from my experience, the swelling will start getting better after the first 3 weeks. 

      Best advice: try not to think about it. 

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    • Posted

      Thanks David.

      I was more concerned because it has seemed to swell more and it feels like the testicle itself has completely filled that side of the sack and is pretty hard. I have tried to take it easy but with three kids....

      I am going back to work tomorrow so forgetting about the huge bulge willbe interesting lol

      Thanks again David

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    • Posted

      You are welcome Jason. 

      By the way if you click on Williams's name you can see the other comments he has written. Try reading his last comment. 

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