This is an accumulation of fluid within the tunica vaginalis.
Hydroceles are common in newborn infants.
During normal development, the testicles descend down a tube(processus vaginalis) from the abdomen into the scrotum. Hydroceles result when this tube fails to 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 become swollen.
Hydroceles normally go away a few months after birth, but their appearance may worry new parents. Occasionally, a hydrocele may be associated with an inguinal hernia.
Most hydroceles are idiopathic (unknown cause),but may also be caused by inflammation or injury of the testicle or epididymis, or by fluid or blood blockage within the spermatic cord. This type of hydrocele is more common in older men.
The anatomical classification of hydroceles is into
the following groups
a.Vaginal—confined to the scrotum and so called because it distends the
b.Congenital—communicating with the peritoneal cavity.
c.Infantile—extending upwards to the internal ring.
d.Hydrocele of the cord—confined to the cord.
Notice that, from the anatomical point of view, a hydrocele (apart from one of the cord) must surround the front and sides of the testis since the tunica vaginalis bears this relationship to it. A cyst of the epididymis, in contrast, arises from the efferent ducts of the epididymis and must therefore lie above and behind the testis. This point enables the differential diagnosis between these two common scrotal cysts to be made confidently.
Testicle become swollen in hydroceles, they are usually not painful, but neither are testicular tumor. A common way of diagnosing a hydrocele is by attempting to shine a strong light through the enlarged scrotum. A hydrocele will usually pass light(transillumination), while a tumor will not.
Hydroceles are usually not dangerous, and they are usually only treated when they cause discomfort or embarrassment, or if they are large enough to threaten the testicle’s blood supply.
Surgery-A surgical procedure, called a hydrocelectomy, is often performed to correct a hydrocele.