Processus vaginalis; Patent processus vaginalis
Last reviewed: September 16, 2011.
A hydrocele is a fluid-filled sack in the scrotum.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Hydroceles are common in newborn infants.
During normal development, the testicles descend down a tube from the abdomen into the scrotum. Hydroceles occur when this tube does not close. Fluid drains from the abdomen through the open tube. The fluid builds up in the scrotum, where it becomes trapped. This causes the scrotum to swell.
Hydroceles normally go away a few months after birth, but they may worry new parents. Sometimes, a hydrocele may occur with an inguinal hernia.
Hydroceles may also be caused by:
•Fluid or a blood blockage in the spermatic cord (this type of hydrocele is more common in older men)
•Inflammation or injury of the testicle or epididymis
The main symptom is a painless, swollen testicle, which feels like a water balloon. A hydrocele may occur on one or both sides.
Signs and tests
During a physical exam, the health care provider usually finds a swollen scrotum that is not tender. Often, the testicle cannot be felt because of the fluid around it. The size of the fluid-filled sack can sometimes be increased and decreased by putting pressure on the abdomen or the scrotum.
If the size of the fluid collection changes, it is more likely to be due to an inguinal hernia.
Hydroceles can be easily seen by shining a flashlight (transillumination) through the swollen part of the scrotum. If the scrotum is full of clear fluid, the scrotum will light up.
An ultrasound may be done to confirm the diagnosis.
Hydroceles may make it more difficult to do testicular self-exams, which help detect testicular cancer early.
Hope this answers your question, just did what you could have done and googled it.
Hydroceles pose little risk or clinical significance. However, there is a risk for more fluid accumulation which could point to a potential abnormality in the connection of the abdominal cavity and the scrotum or a scrotal pathology. This could require evaluation by a physician...