The Jackson Clinic Homepage
The Jackson Clinic

Varicocele / Hydrocele

Home » Specialties » Urology » Varicocele / Hydrocele


A varicocele is a varicose vein or engorged vein of the testicle or scrotum. These are typically congenital (born with it) and occur in 15% of men on the left side. They are often asympyomatic. If symptoms occur, there is typically a feeling of pain or heaviness that is worsened throughout the day or with exertion. These are also a common cause of male infertility, thought to cause sperm damage by making hindering temperature regulation in the testicle.

When a patient has a symptomatic varicocele causing pain or low sperm counts, correction may be recommended. Surgical treatments are usually offered such as laparoscopic varicocelectomy or microscopic varicocelectomy.

  • Laparoscopic varicocelectomy involves small incisions made in the abdomen to fill it with gas. Clipping of the vein is performed where the vein originates in the abdomen.
  • Microscopic varicocelectomy involves a small incision in the groin and then clipping all the veins individually.


A hydrocele is a benign condition of fluid collection surrounding the testicle. Patients usually notice enlargement of one or both sides of the scrotum.

Hydroceles can be caused by a previous procedure such as a hernia surgery or varicocele surgery, or may be congenital (born with it).

It is most commonly fixed by a surgery of the scrotum to disrupt or remove the fluid sac around the testicle. Patients unfit for surgery due to other medical problems may undergo an office drainage procedure, although this is not curative typically.

Additional information may be found at the American Urologic Association website.