Enhanced Verifiable CPD from the
University of Birmingham

Dentaljuce Shorts: 500 words, 10 MCQs, on general medicine and surgery.

Hydrocele

Hydrocele is an accumulation of serous fluid in a body cavity, most commonly occurring around the testicle. This condition, known as hydrocele testis, usually involves fluid collecting within the tunica vaginalis, a layer derived from the peritoneum. Hydroceles are prevalent in males and can resolve without treatment within the first year, provided there is no hernia. Although rare, hydroceles can also occur in females in the canal of Nuck.

Scrotal ultrasound of a 10 cm large hydrocele, with anechoic (dark) fluid surrounding the testicle
Scrotal ultrasound of a 10 cm large hydrocele, with anechoic (dark) fluid surrounding the testicle

Causes

Hydroceles can develop through various mechanisms:

  • Excessive production of fluid within the sac.
  • Defective absorption of fluid.
  • Interference with lymphatic drainage, as seen in elephantiasis.
  • Connection with a peritoneal hernia in congenital hydroceles.

Primary hydroceles can develop in adulthood, often due to impaired reabsorption of fluid. Secondary hydroceles can result from testicular diseases such as cancer, trauma, or orchitis.

Types of Hydroceles

Primary Hydroceles

Primary hydroceles are characterised by soft, non-tender swelling, often large in size. The presence of fluid can be demonstrated by transillumination. These hydroceles can grow significantly and cause atrophy of the testis due to compression or obstruction of blood supply. Ultrasound imaging is necessary to visualise the testis when the hydrocele sac is dense.

Secondary Hydroceles

Secondary hydroceles are associated with testicular diseases such as cancer, trauma, or epididymo-orchitis. These hydroceles are usually of moderate size, and the underlying testis is palpable. They typically subside when the primary condition is treated.

Infantile Hydroceles

Infantile hydroceles are due to a patent processus vaginalis (PPV) and occur in both infants and adults. There is no connection with the peritoneal cavity, and the hydrocele fluid may drain into the peritoneal cavity when lying down.

Congenital Hydroceles

Congenital hydroceles involve a patent processus vaginalis connecting with the peritoneal cavity. These hydroceles may occur bilaterally and can be associated with ascites or tuberculous peritonitis.

Communicating hydrocele, caused by the failure of the processus vaginalis closure
Communicating hydrocele, caused by the failure of the processus vaginalis closure

Encysted Hydrocele of the Cord

This type presents as a smooth, oval swelling near the spermatic cord, which can be mistaken for an inguinal hernia. It is also referred to as encysted hydrocele of the cord and transilluminates similarly to other hydroceles.

Signs and Symptoms

Hydroceles are usually painless and present as a swollen scrotum. They can be diagnosed through transillumination, where light passes through the fluid but not through a tumour. Secondary hydroceles may present with symptoms of the underlying condition, such as pain or swelling.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of hydroceles involves physical examination and imaging techniques such as ultrasound. Primary hydroceles are identified by positive transillumination and fluctuation, absence of reducibility, and the inability to palpate the testis separately.

Complications

Complications of hydroceles include rupture, transformation into a haematocele, sac calcification, and testicular atrophy. Infection can lead to pyocele, and postherniorrhaphy hydroceles can occur after inguinal hernia repair.

Treatment

Most hydroceles in infants resolve without treatment within the first year. Persistent hydroceles or those occurring later in life require treatment if symptomatic. The preferred treatment is surgical excision of the hydrocele sac under anaesthesia. Aspiration with sclerotherapy is an alternative but often results in recurrence, making surgery the more definitive treatment.


Self-assessment MCQs (single best answer)

What is a hydrocele?



Which layer is primarily involved in hydrocele testis?



How are primary hydroceles typically characterised?



What is the preferred diagnostic tool for visualising the testis in hydrocele cases?



Which type of hydrocele is associated with a patent processus vaginalis and can drain into the peritoneal cavity?



What common symptom is associated with hydrocele?



What is the preferred treatment for a symptomatic hydrocele in adults?



What potential complication can arise from an untreated hydrocele?



What is the primary cause of primary hydroceles in adults?



How can hydroceles be initially diagnosed non-invasively?



Dentaljuce

Dentaljuce provides Enhanced Continuing Professional Development (CPD) with GDC-approved Certificates for dental professionals worldwide.

Founded in 2009 by the award-winning Masters team from the School of Dentistry at the University of Birmingham, Dentaljuce has established itself as the leading platform for online CPD.

With over 100 high-quality online courses available for a single annual membership fee, Dentaljuce offers comprehensive e-learning designed for busy dental professionals.

The courses cover a complete range of topics, from clinical skills to patient communication, and are suitable for dentists, nurses, hygienists, therapists, students, and practice managers.

Dentaljuce features Dr. Aiden, a dentally trained AI-powered personal tutor available 24/7 to assist with queries and provide guidance through complex topics, enhancing the learning experience.

Check out our range of courses, or sign up now!

Membership Options

Dentaljuce offers a range of membership options…

Regular Membership

With enhanced CPD Certificates. Dentaljuce is brought to you by the award winning Masters team from the School of Dentistry, University of Birmingham, UK. All have won awards for web based learning and teaching and are recognised as leaders and innovators in this field, as well as being highly experienced clinical teachers. Full access to over 100 courses, no extras to pay.

Buy Now

£89.00 per year

Student Membership

No Certificates. With universities cutting down on traditional lectures, many students are currently having to rely more on online resources. If you don't need CPD Certificates, we are offering an amazing discount on your Dentaljuce personal membership fee. Special student price just £29 for 12 months individual membership.

Buy Now

£29.00 per year

Excellent content clearly explained.
SJ

© Dentaljuce 2024 | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy

Recording CPD time: recorded.