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Recovery from a hydrocele operation.
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Recovery from a hydrocele operation.


  On April 23, 1998 I underwent a hydrocele operation on my right testicle. The incision was made on my scrotum. After one month I had a follow up visit with my urologist. At that time, the swelling had not went dowm. The doctor did some tests and was positive that the fluid had returned, but he sent me for an ultrasound to confirm. The ultrasound confirmed that there was still fluid. My urologist concluded that the fluid came back because I had a right inguinal hernia. ( The right testicle was now bigger than before the operation) I went to the Shouldice Hospital in Toronto, Canada to have the hernia and hydrocele repaired. Their diagnosis determined that I did not have a right inguinal hernia, but just a hydrocele. They repaired the hydrocele and they also checked for a hernia because the doctor was very suprised that the initial repair did not work.  I did not have a hernia.  My concern is over the swelling. I had the operation on August 7,1998 and I would like to know when the swelling will subside? Does physical activity slown down the recovery? Also, if the swelling does not subside, what can be the cause of this problem? If it does not subside, my right testicle will be bigger than prior to the first operation.
  If this helps, I am 26 years old- 5'8'' - 166pounds and in very good shape. I play squash,basketball and golf.
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Dear Anthony,
After a hydrocelectomy it is not uncommon for there to be swelling from the surgery.  The surgical procedures that are performed often remove the tunica vaginalis, the sac that houses the fluid in a hydrocele.  If this sac is not removed or positioned in such a way that it cannot refill and act like a container then the fluid can reaccumulate very easily and you are faced with the same situation post -operatively as you had pre-operatively.  Sometimes, surgeons place a drain after this procedure for one or two days to let the scrotum decompress and prevent a reaccumulation of fluid initially after the operation.  This type of fluid will be reabsorbed by the bodies tissues unlike fluid that is inside the tunica vaginalis.  You should not be concerned that your testicle is any larger or being affected by the fluid  that has reaccumulated around the testicle.  This is not a complication that will cause you problems in the long term, but may cause you discomfort until the fluid is reabsorbed.  Physical activity should not affect the fluid or the speed at which it will be reabsorbed.  As long as the incision is healed properly and there is no pain from exercise I doubt hat you would be harming yourself. I always tell my patients to use pain as there guide. I recommend discussing the issue with your doctor and then
I know it is a little disheartening to have an operation for a bulge or fluid collection and then after the operation to have the same or similar bulge.  However, the fluid that has reaccumulated has the potential to be reabsorbed by the body whereas the fluid before did not.  I would be patient and give your body some more time to heal itself.
This information is provided for general medical educational purposes only.  Please consult your physician for diagnostic and treatment options pertaining to your specific medical condition.  More individualized care is available at the Henry Ford Hospital and its suburban locations (1 800 653-6568).
Sincerely,
HFHS M.D.-AK
*keyword:Hydrocele





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