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Monday, May 23, 2005
HYDROCELE...This is a collection of fluid between two layers of tissue that surround a testicle. It causes a soft swelling around the testicles. Usually only one testicle is involved, but rarely both testes may have a hydrocele at the same time.

Someone who regularly examines his testicles for cancer may detect a hydrocele when it is quite small. Otherwise the testicle may reach twice the normal size before it is notice.

Other "celes" in the scrotal area include hematoceles(the fluid is bloody), spermatocele (fluid containing sperm) and varicocele (the swelling is made up of a group of veins.)

Varicoles can become quite large and, when uncovered during surgery may look like a can of worms. Surgery to remove a varicocele usually is very successful. But about 5 percent of people having this surgery will develope a hydrocele

Diagnosis of a hydrocele can be confirmed by ultrasound or transillumination. In transillumination, a high intensity light source is applied to one side of the scrotum, and the shadow that shows up on the opther side is examined.

A hydrocele may be present at birth or develope later in life. If the cause is known, then removal of that cause may eliminate the collection of fluid. If the cause is not known (idiopathic) the only treatment is removal of the fluid as it builds up by repeatedly sucking it out with a needle (aspiration) or surgery.

One common cause of hydrocele is an inguinal hernia. These hernias can sometimes be left alone for many years, but repairing the hernia is important in treating the hydrocele.

Aspiration is quite safe, efficient and cost effective. But it's not always successful. Acuumulation of fluid, after aspiration, occurs about three fifths of the time.

Surgical removal of the hydrocele (hydrocelectomy) is recommended when it becomes so large that it's an annoyance or when another lump is found on the testicle during examination. Approximately 10 percent of testicular tumors have an associated hydrocele. This surgical procedure has some risks, is relativel expensive and requires some inactivity after the procedure. There are several different techniques; using fiber optic instruments for surgery minimizes the risk and discomfort.

After a year ago, the respected medical journal Urology published research showing that a tube may be inserted and left in the hydrocele, draining into the scrotum. The method, according to the report, was easy, safe and effective. However, because the research was done in Turkey, itmay take a few yeas before it is either accessible or adopted in the States.

(Write to Allen Douma in case of Tribune Media Services, 2225 Kenmore Ave, Suite 114, Buffalo, NY 14207 or contact him at: DRFamily@aol.com.)

(abstracted from the Tribune Media Services by: Dr. Allen Douma, M.D.)
posted by infraternam meam @ 12:51 PM  
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Name: infraternam meam
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About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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