Hydrocele: Symptoms, Causes & Treatments


Alternate Name of Hydrocele :: Hydrocelectomy

What is Hydrocele?

Hydrocele repair involves surgical correction of a birth defect in which there is an open passageway between the abdomen and the scrotum. This causes fluid collection around the testicle called a hydrocele.

Hydrocele is a common cause of swollen testicles in newborns and the elderly, although men can develop hydrocele at any age. Hydrocele is a common condition of men in which there is accumulation of fluid in the tunica vaginalis, the sac which surrounds the testicle. It may occur at any age, but old men are usually more prone to the condition. The testicles are the major sex glands in the male. Each gland is composed of myriads of coiled tubes in which the sperm cells are produced. It is the function of these cells to fertilize the ovum during sexual intercourse.

Hydrocele swelling is usually painless. If the testicles appear to be chronically swollen, medical interventions are available. Surgery can cure hydrocele, or the fluid may be drawn out of the testicular membrane using a fine needle (fine needle aspiration is quite painful, so some men prefer surgical options).

Hydrocele Symptoms

The main symptom of hydrocele is painless, smooth and elastic enlargement of the scrotum. In some cases swelling is so much as to cause a great deal of inconvenience interfering greatly with walking. Consequently it may produce a great deal of pressure upon the testicles and the spermatic vessels causing a detrimental effect upon the generative system. The hydrocele is translucent. If a bright light is placed upon it in the dark the whole swelling lights up. If the swellings become painful, it usually denotes that it has become infected

Hydrocele Causes

The apparent cause of hydrocele may be a knock or a strain but toxic condition of the system is usually at the root of the matter. This systemic toxicity results from wrong dietary habits, general wrong living and suppressive medical treatment of former diseases. Sexual excess and abuse is also an important factor in some cases, through the degeneration of the sex organism which follows. Sometimes gonorrhoel infection, obstruction of the abdominal vein, tuberculosis and dropsy may be the cause of this condition.

Hydrocele sometimes exists at birth. In this case swelling is seen when the infant is in an upright position and disappears when the infant is laid upon its back. Hydrocele usually disappears by itself in infants.

Treatment for Hydrocele

Tapping is the method usually resorted to for removal of the fluid in hydrocele. This however, does not remove the cause of the trouble, but only its effects. The correct way in which the condition can be really dealt with successfully is through constitutional treatment. Such a treatment should aim at removing the underlying toxicity of the system which is at the root of the trouble.

The sufferer from hydrocele should begin with an exclusive fresh fruit diet for seven to ten days. In this regimen he should have three meals a day of fresh juicy fruits such as apples, pears, grapes, grapefruit, oranges, pineapple, peaches, melon or any other juicy fruit in season, but no bananas or dried stewed or tinned fruit and no other foodstuff whatever. For drinks lemon water unsweetened or water either hot or cold may be taken.

During this period the bowels should be cleansed daily with a warm water enema. If constipation is habitual. all steps should be taken for its eradication. After an all-fruit diet. the patient may adopt the following regimen:

  • Breakfast: Fresh fruit as obtainable, or grated raw carrot or other raw salad-stuff, prunes or other dried fruits, if desired, and a cup of milk.
  • Lunch: Steamed vegetables, as obtainable, with either a poached or scrambled egg or a vegetarian savoury. Stewed fruit or a baked apple may be taken for dessert.
  • Dinner: A good sized raw salad, of any suitable vegetables as obtainable; with whole wheat bread and butter, and prunes or other dried fruit as dessert.

Further short periods ,on the all fruit diet should be under taken at monthly intervals as required, for two or three consecutive days each time. The diet factor is of the utmost importance and fruits and salads must form the main basis of the future dietary. Alcohol, strong tea, or coffee condiments, pickles and sauces should be avoided. Smoking, where habitual, should be given up.

Water Treatment for Hydrocele

Treatment through water is extremely beneficial in curing hydrocele. Cold hip baths twice daily in the morning and the evening, for 10 minutes each time, are specially valuable. For a cold hip bath, an ordinary bath tub may be used. It should be filled with cold water. The patient should sit in the tub, keeping the legs outside.

A hot Epsom salts bath is also very useful in the treatment of hydrocele and should be taken once or twice weekly, where possible.

Every effort should be made to build up the general health level to the highest degree. Fresh air and outdoor exercise are essential to the success of this treatment. Sun and air bathing, where possible, should be undertaken. All habits, and practices tending to lower the tone of the body should be studiously avoided; strain should be avoided as far as possible. The wearing of a suspensory bandage is often useful.

Unless the condition persists for a long time, the foregoing treatment should soon begin to show its beneficial effects, and the whole general health level of the sufferer will be greatly enhanced at the same time.

Testicular Cancer

Swollen testicles and scrotum are sometimes a symptom of testicular cancer. However, it should be noted that a swollen scrotum is more likely to result from other disorders than cancer. Testicular cancer symptoms may also include pain, hard lumps on the testicles, or even lower back pain.

Useful References

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