Diagnosis of Hydrocele

The first step in diagnosing a hydrocele is a physical examination. During the exam, the physician may shine a flashlight at the swollen area of the scrotum. Because the fluid in a hydrocele is usually clear, the light will show the outline of the testicle and detect excess fluid.

Ultrasound is often used to confirm the diagnosis of hydrocele and rule out a tumor or other condition. If the area of swelling becomes larger or smaller as the doctor examines the scrotum, the patient may have an inguinal hernia or a communicating hydrocele. If an infection (e.g., epididymitis) is suspected, blood or urine tests may be performed.

Publication Review By: William Belville, M.D., Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 22 Jul 2007

Last Modified: 22 Sep 2015