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A hydrocoele is a collection of fluid in a sac in front of the testicle inside the scrotum. Most develop for no apparent reason. Hydrocoeles are harmless and do not require any specific treatment unless they cause symptoms. In some men hydrocoeles can become large and cumbersome, or cause discomfort. If needed, a small operation can usually cure the problem.

What causes Hydrocoele?

Hydrocoles in adults most commonly occur in men aged over 40 years:

  • The cause is not known in most cases.
  • A small number of hydroceles are caused when something is wrong with one of the testicles (testes). For example, infection, inflammation, injury or tumours of a testicle (testis) may cause fluid to be formed which leads to a hydrocoele forming.
  • Sometimes hydrocoeles develop when there is generalised swelling of the lower half of the body due to fluid retention.

What are the treatments for Hydrocoele?

No Intervention

Leaving it alone can be an option. In adults, if the hydrocele causes no symptoms, one option is simply to leave it alone. If it becomes larger or troublesome, you can always change your mind and have treatment.


Hyrdocelle Repair Surgery may be recommended if your hydrocele is large or uncomfortable. The operation for a hydrocele involves making a very small cut in the scrotum or lower tummy (abdominal) wall. The fluid is then drained from around the testicle (testis). The passage between the abdomen and the scrotum will also be sealed off so the fluid cannot re-form in the future. This is a minor operation and is performed as a day case, so does not usually involve an overnight stay in the hospital. A hydrocele may return after surgery but this is very uncommon.


The fluid can be drained easily with a needle and syringe. However, following this procedure, it is common for the sac of the hydrocele to refill with fluid within a few months. Draining every now and then may be suitable though, if you are not fit for surgery or if you do not want an operation.