Adult Hydrocele Surgery
Hydrocelectomy is performed here at The Urology Place in San Antonio, Texas.
Treatment is considered when the hydrocele interferes with normal activity. In some cases, hydroceles can become infected or even interfere with normal sperm production. Two options exist for treatment.
Option one: A needle can be used to aspirate the fluid and drain the fluid pocket. This method is office-based, quick and covered by insuranace. Our in-office procedure is relatively painless with local anesthetic. We even offer nitrous gas, which is a safe inhalant used in dentist offices. Unfortunately, hydroceles can often return after this method.
Option two: This method is preferred. The hydrocele sac is opened and then sutured closed in a way to prevent recollection of the fluid. Return of a hydrocele is very unlikely. Insurance covers the procedure in the hospital.
What is a hydrocele?
A hydrocele is a membranous sack of fluid that surrounds the testicle and can cause swelling of the scrotum. Any swelling of the scrotum needs to be examined by a doctor to distinguish between serious and benign conditions. A hydrocele is a benign condition, but testicular cancer can mimic a hydrocele.
A small incision is made on the scrotum and the hydrocele is opened and drained of the fluid. The hydrocele is then everted around the testicle and secured. In essence it is turned inside out. This keeps the fluid from re-accumulating.
Cost of Hydrocelectomy
If you do not want to use insurance, we can do the procedure for select patients in the office. The procedure is relatively painless and we offer nitrous gas to help with anxiety and discomfort. The procedure in the office is approximately $1850. This represents a significant savings for patients compared to the cost of having the procedure in the hospital. Nitrous gas is available to ease anxiety and discomfort. It is very safe. Many other urologists will refer you to a surgery center for your hydrocele procedure, which can increase your cost dramatically. In a surgery center, you typically pay separate fees for the surgery center, the urologist, the anesthesia doctor, and your supplies.
The hydrocele procedure can take 30 minutes to an hour depending on the patient. If the procedure is performed in the operating room, the patient can be asleep. An operating room procedure is more expensive than an office procedure and is done when insurance covers the procedure.
A scalpel is used to open the scrotal skin. The hydrocele is entered and drained. The sac is then closed in such a way to prevent the fluid from reaccumulating. Sometimes, a temporary rubber drain is placed. The scrotum is then closed in layers.
In the office, local anesthetic is given. Nitrous gas is also available.
Patients experience minimal pain after their hydrocele, and typically only take Tylenol and an anti-inflammatory during recovery. Swelling can last for a few weeks after the procedure. The drain is usually removed in 48-72 hours.
Any surgical procedure has risks. Hydrocele repair’s major risks are testicle injury or loss, infection, bleeding and recurrence of hydrocele.