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A hydrocele is a relatively common occurrence in the male population and can happen at any point in your life. It is the process of having fluid collect in the membranes surrounding the testicles. If it occurs in newborns, it is something that will typically resolve on its own without any further intervention before the first year of their life. It may occur spontaneously in young boys or adults due to infections of the testicle or because of trauma to the testicles. It is a condition that is not necessarily dangerous to your overall health but if you find you have persistent swelling, it is wise to consult with a doctor to discuss further management. 

A key component when making a diagnosis of hydrocele is that it should not be painful for the patient. You should just have a painless swelling of your scrotum. The fullness of the cavity may be uncomfortable but it should not cause pain. The pain would indicate another cause of this swelling like a testicular tumor or a herniation of the intestines into the scrotum. 

The best way to diagnose hydrocele is to have a consultation with a doctor so he can examine your scrotum. He will perform a physical examination checking to determine if the swelling is on one or both sides of your scrotum as well as any other irregularities that may point to something else entirely.

The doctor may even press on your abdomen in order to rule out if you have any signs of an inguinal hernia. If the swelling worsens when he pushes down, you will probably need to have a surgery in order to correct a hernia.

The last definite test to confirm you have hydrocele will be taking a penlight and shining it from beneath your scrotum. The physician should be able to see the clear fluid surrounding your testicles. 

Once you have been diagnosed when a hydrocele, the doctor will have to run some additional tests to make sure that an infection is not the cause of your swelling. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are quite capable of causing this condition so young men will need to have their blood tested in order to confirm the etiology. 

What happens next is up to the doctor in most cases.

If he finds that it is a hydrocele that was likely from an accidental kick to your scrotum, he may just send you home and ask you to come back in a few weeks to re-examine the area. If the swelling goes down during this period, you will not have a surgery. If you continue to have the swelling or complain that the fullness is uncomfortable for you, a surgery will occur.

This is an outpatient procedure that is very straightforward. Regional anesthesia will be enough to numb the area and an incision will be made in your scrotum or your lower abdomen. A doctor will be able to drain the fluid and may insert a drain in order to remove any recurrent fluid that still persists. This tube can be removed after a few days but in most cases, will not be necessary. [1]

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