Varicoceles are fairly common scrotal abnormalities seen in about 15% of the male population. It occurs when the veins in the scrotum become enlarged, similar to a varicose vein in other parts of the body. Often, varicoceles are painless and cause no problems. Occasionally, a varicocele may be uncomfortable, especially after long periods of sitting, standing, or activity and can be relieved by lying down.
Varicoceles are a known cause of male infertility. Once a varicocele is present, it will not go away on its own. A varicolcelectomy is an outpatient surgery that involves cutting the veins in the scrotum that are enlarged.
A hydrocele is a collection of fluid in the scrotum. Hydroceles can vary greatly in size and are normally painless. Frequently, no treatment is required for a hydrocele if it is not bothersome.
If the hydrocele becomes large or uncomfortable, a hydrocelectomy may be done. This is an outpatient surgical procedure that involves a very small incision in the scrotum or lower abdomen. The fluid is drained from the scrotum and the passage that allowed the drainage to occur is sealed off so the fluid will not accumulate again.