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I'd like to share my experience of having a successful hydrocele operation, and hope it helps those who are concerned or not sure what to do. For the record, I'm in my 50s, in good health, and of average weight.
Last summer, whilst checking myself during bath time, I noticed that my left testicle was slightly larger than my right one. I arranged for an appointment with my GP, who examined me and said it probably wasn't a cancer. He referred me to the local NHS hospital for an ultrasound scan, and an appointment was offered within 6 weeks. The scan confirmed a small hydrocele on my left testicle and I was referred to the Urology department. I met the consultant a couple of weeks later.He examined me, confirmed the diagnosis of a hydrocele and explained the options. At the time the hydrocele wasn't that large, wasn't painful and wasn't causing me any distress. I therefore chose to do nothing about it.
By Christmas time it had grown to the size of a small orange. It was causing me discomfort, but not painful. Extrapolating forward I could see this becoming the size of a large Jaffa by the summer, so got myself back in the system for an operation.
In June I visited the day surgery ward of a Somerset NHS hospital. I booked in at 1.00pm, had the op at 2.00pm and was home by 4.30pm. I was given a week's worth of paracetamol and ibuprofen painkillers. I was signed off work sick for the first week, and I took a second week as holiday.
I suffered no significant pain and no real discomfort. I kept the wound and stitches clean each day using antiseptic wipes and sterile dressings held in place by micropore tape. There was weeping from the wound which lessened each day and completely stopped after about 3 weeks. The only problem I encountered was the wound became a little infected, which my GP treated with a course of oral antibiotics. I think my mistake was to wear supportive underwear for too many hours and not let the wound breathe and get access to the air.
The stitches had all dissolved within 3 weeks, and the wound healed completely by about 4 weeks. I'm back to a normal size and can enjoy doing all the activities I used to before the hydrocele appeared.
If I had to go through this again then I would opt for the operation straight away, and not wait. I'd take more care of the wound, and let more air get to it early on. I could have gone back to my desk job after one week, but the second week was worth taking. I can't fault the treatment I had on the NHS; everyone who dealt with me was excellent.
Hope this helps any of you who are worried about having a hydrocele treated.
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