Hydrocele and Varicocele Lumps & Swelling in Testicles

Lumps & Swelling – Hydroceles

Hydroceles are the result of a build up of fluid around the testicles within the scrotum. They typically occur during infancy but can also occur in more mature males causing swelling yet painless testicles. While infants develop hydroceles at birth, adults are believed to develop hydrocele lumps following a scrotal infection or after injury. They are rarely recurrent.

The impact of a hydrocele varies between infants and adults. Treatment is available for youngsters if the swelling becomes oversized or uncomfortable, however, they are most likely to see their condition clear up naturally without issue. Although persistent, hydroceles are usually harmless in adults with few receiving are treated the simple surgical procedure.

Hydrocele treatment

While infant hydroceles are typically only operated on if they last for a year or more, adults can be treated more directly and have the excess fluid drained via the scrotum. Patients with larger swellings may also benefit from the removal of excess sac tissue. Affected testicles will usually remain slightly over-sized but will improves considerably following treatment.

Hydrocele and varicocele Lumps and swelling in testicles
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Lumps & Swelling – Varicoceles

Similar to hydroceles, varicoceles cause scrotal swelling or lumps when a build-up of blood occurs in the veins that carry blood away from testicles. Varicoceles typically affect the left side of the scrotum and are most prominent when patients are stood upright causing the ’worm-like’ testicular veins fill with blood. Swelling may dissipate whilst the patient lies  down horizontally allowing  the veins to drain.

Varicoceles occur inexplicably and are most commonly found incidentally throughout puberty. As varicoceles grow, they cause scrotal swelling and the testicles to become heavy and painful; fertility can also be impacted. Mainly affecting the left side of the scrotum, varicocele issues on the right hand side should be reported urgently, as with any sudden onset or painful varicocele.

Varicocele treatment

As with any scrotal or testicular pain or swelling a professional consultation should be arranged to properly diagnosis and start appropriate treatment. Conditions of this nature are very common and often prove harmless, but the timely treatment of more serious malignant diseases might be the cause and could prove to be life-saving for some patients.


Anyone concerned about scrotal or testicular lumps and swellings that could be hydroceles or varicoceles, should seek professional guidance. Whether the concerns are personal, a timely diagnosis can help ease any associated anxiety.  Confirmation of the condition is by a simple medical examination and an ultrasound scan.

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