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This handout tells you how to care for yourself at home after surgery to repair a hydrocele. 

Hydrocele

A hydrocele is a fluid filled sac in the scrotum. Hydrocele can grow large and can cause swelling, pain and discomfort in the scrotum and may need surgical repair. Hydrocelectomy is the surgical repair of a hydrocele.

What to Expect After Surgery

You will have some discomfort in your testicles and scrotum. We will order pain medicine for you to take as needed. The scrotum and testicle(s) may be tender for up to one month.

Your scrotum may be very swollen for several days and up to a couple of weeks after surgery. To help reduce swelling, you may use an ice pack for the first 24 – 48 hours, then as needed. Use the ice pack for 20 – 30 minutes on, then 20 – 30 minutes off.

You may have a temporary drain called a Penrose to drain any extra fluid and blood. Change the gauze pads as needed.

Wound Care

For the first week, keep the wound clean and dry. Keep the wound covered with a gauze pad. Change the gauze pad daily, and if it gets wet or soiled.

For the first 2 weeks, wear a scrotal support at all times, then as needed. Keep the scrotal support clean and dry.

You may shower after 24 hours. Blot the area dry.

Do not soak in a bathtub, swimming pool, or hot tub for 5 days, until your incision is healed. 

Activity Guidelines

  • Do not lift more than 10 pounds for 3 weeks.

  • No sex for 5 days.

  • Your time off work depends on how well you recover and the kind of work you do. Check with your doctor before and after surgery.

Follow-Up 

If you have a Penrose drain, you will have a follow up visit in 3 – 5 days. This will be scheduled when your surgery is scheduled.

You will need to return for another post-op visit 2-3 weeks after surgery.

When to Call 

  • Redness, warmth, or pus-like drainage from the incision

  • Severe pain that does not improve with pain medicine

  • Increase in swelling of scrotum 

  • Fever over 100.5° F. by mouth, for 2 readings taken 4 hours apart

  • Bleeding that soaks the dressing in 1 hour or less

Who to Call

Urology Clinic: (608) 263-4757

After hours this will give you the paging operator. Ask for the urology doctor on call. Leave your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.

If you live out of the area, please call: 

1-800-323-8942.

Your urology doctor is _______________.

Your medical record number is __________.

If you are a patient receiving care at UnityPoint – Meriter, Swedish American or a health system outside of UW Health, please use the phone numbers provided in your discharge instructions for any questions or concerns.