Adult Hydrocele: Understanding the Causes


A hydrocele is a common medical condition characterized by the accumulation of fluid in the sac that surrounds the testes within the scrotum. While hydroceles are most commonly associated with infants, they can also affect adults. In this blog, we will explore the causes of adult hydrocele.

Understanding Hydroceles
Before delving into the causes of adult hydrocele, let’s briefly understand the anatomy involved. The scrotum contains the testicles and is lined by a thin membrane called the tunica vaginalis. This membrane normally produces a small amount of fluid that helps lubricate the testes and allows for movement. A hydrocele occurs when there is an abnormal accumulation of this fluid, leading to swelling in the scrotum.

Causes of Adult Hydrocele
1. Primary Hydrocele: Primary hydroceles in adults often have no specific underlying cause. They can develop due to the overproduction of fluid, poor absorption of fluid, or a combination of both. While these hydroceles can occur at any age, they are more common in older adults.

2. Secondary Hydrocele: Secondary hydroceles are typically caused by an underlying medical condition or injury. Some common causes include:

a. Infection: Infections in the scrotum, such as epididymitis or orchitis, can lead to the development of a hydrocele. Inflammation caused by these infections can disrupt the normal fluid balance in the scrotum.

b. Injury or Trauma: Trauma to the scrotum, such as a direct blow or injury during surgery, can result in a hydrocele. This is due to damage to the blood vessels or the tunica vaginalis, causing an accumulation of fluid.

c. Tumors: In rare cases, tumors in the testes or scrotum can obstruct the flow of fluid, leading to a hydrocele. These tumors may be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

d. Hernia Repair: Some individuals may develop hydroceles as a complication of hernia repair surgery. This can occur when the surgery disrupts the normal drainage of fluid from the scrotum.

e. Lymphatic Blockage: Conditions that cause blockages in the lymphatic system, such as filariasis (a parasitic infection), can lead to the accumulation of fluid in the scrotum, resulting in a hydrocele.

Adult hydrocele is a condition characterized by the accumulation of fluid in the scrotum and can have various underlying causes. While some hydroceles may resolve on their own or with conservative treatment, others may require surgical intervention. If you notice scrotal swelling or discomfort, it’s essential to seek medical attention for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Early intervention can help alleviate symptoms and prevent complications associated with adult hydroceles.

Note: One Stop Medical Center has provided the service of adult hydrocele surgery. We have 2 office locations, Edina office in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Casselberry in Orlando, Florida. If you are interested in the surgery of adult hydrocele, please call us at 1-888-992-0019 if any questions.