One small incision! That’s the good part. The entire procedure is done under general anesthesia (asleep) via a small incision in the scrotum. The area heals quite well, and within a few months most can barely tell that any surgery was ever done.

Hydrocelectomy Information

What is a Hydrocelectomy?

This is the term used for removal of the abnormal sac of fluid that develops around the testicle.

How long should the procedure last?

45 minutes, in an outpatient surgical center.

What are common side effects?

Swelling and or bruising is the most common finding. Since the scrotum is essentially a floppy bag, any routine swelling or minor bleeding after surgery tends to take a few weeks to gradually get re-absorbed into the body.


It is critical that you stop any Aspirin, Coumadin, Plavix, or other blood thinners one week before shockwave lithotripsy. Please call our office should you have any questions about this.

The night before your procedure, you may eat and drink as usual. However, do not take anything by mouth after 12:00 midnight the night before. Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing like a jogging suit on the day of your procedure. Bring a list of all the prescription and nonprescription medications that you take regularly with you on the day of the procedure.

Please plan to arrive two hours prior to your treatment.

Upon waking from the procedure, you may temporarily have a small drain placed in the surgical site. This is placed to reduce postoperative swelling and bruising, and drains these fluids away, but relax, the drain typically will remain for 48 hours and then gets removed in clinic.

It is common for the drain to have pink or red fluid. You will be given full instructions from our nurse on how to manage the drain when it gets full.

Post Procedure

After the procedure, patients may have a variety of minor issues. Although many patients may do fine with no issues, some patients may experience minor, temporary issues such as swelling or bruising. Again, these usually tend to be minor issues, and resolve within 1-2 weeks after the procedure

Definitely rest up for a day or two after a hydrocelectomy.

For pain, if it is OK, advil, motrin or prescription Toradol is great. These are non-narcotic, so you don’t get sleepy, constipated or have other issues; however they are great anti-inflammatories. Take them on a regular basis the first 2-3 days after the procedure. For pain not relieved by these medications, use the prescription Tylenol with Codeine or Vicodin that was prescribed for you.


Do not strain when having a bowel movement. Expect irregular bowel habits until fully recovered. Increase fiber in your diet. You may need a stool softener or laxative.

Do not take blood thinners or aspirin products for one week or as directed by your physician.


Take it easy for the first 48 hours after the procedure. Do not drive or operate dangerous equipment for 48 hours following anesthesia. You may be able to resume non-strenuous activities after 48 hours unless otherwise directed by your physician. Avoid strenuous exercise, heavy lifting greater than 20 pounds, bike riding, and yard work for two weeks, as the vibrations and movement may cause bleeding. No sexual activity for two weeks after surgery.


You may have a drain in the surgical site, depending upon the extent of your surgery. Drains generally are removed within 48 hours in the Urology Clinic. Wash around the drain with soap and water and rinse well. You may shower, but avoid baths until the drain is removed.

Expected Signs and Symptoms

You may experience swelling or bruising in the surgical site after hydrocelectomy. This is normal and should subside in two to four weeks. On the side of the surgery, most patients will ultimately see approximately 75% reduction in size of collection; because of the scarring, and the thickened sac itself, there may always be a bit more fullness on this side than the ‘normal’ side.


Usually, Dr. Shaw or his staff will communicate to you a desired follow-up time frame. Please call us the day after the procedure to verify a time to see us in the office, and to remove your drain.

Long Term

Time to celebrate! Once your drain is removed, you’re on the road to recovery. Just as you won’t run right after knee surgery, have patience as your scrotal swelling gradually recedes from surgery.

Most patients report 50% improvement in swelling within one month of surgery, and 75% improvement within 3-6 months postoperatively. This is largely dependent on how severe symptoms were prior to surgery. Good news is that you’ll be happy that you chose surgery, just be patient with your road to recovery!

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