Difference between Hydrocele and Varicocele

Hydrocele:--Painless enlargement of the Scrotum.
Can be Unilateral or Bilateral.

Diagnosis with Transillumination. However transillumination cannot confirm the diagnosis because it also may indicate hernia.

Ultrasound can be done to confirm the diagnosis.

Varicocele:-Varicocele is a mass of enlarged veins that develops in the spermatic cord.

A varicocele can develop in one testicle or both, but in about 85% of cases it develops in the left
testicle. The left spermatic vein drains into the renal vein .

Highest in men between the ages of 15 and 25.
The sudden appearance of varicocele in an older man
may indicate a renal tumor blocking the spermatic

S&S:--Asymptomatic or may have:--

  • Ache in the testicle
  • Feeling of heaviness
  • Infertility
  • Atrophy of the testicle
  • Visible or palpable enlarged vein 

Diagnosis:--Large varicoceles may be seen with the naked eye. Medium-sized varicoceles may be detected during physical examination by palpating--"Bag of Worms

Doppler ultrasonography uses ultrasound echos to detect the characteristic sound of the backflow of
blood through the valve.

Treatment:--Surgical Ligation of the affected Spermatic veins.

Summary :

varicocele is described as a "bag of worms", will not transilluminate
hydrocele is collection of fluid in tunica vaginalis, will feel different depending whether it is communicating or not, will transilluminate


  1. Men usually do not come to know that they have varicose veins in the scrotum (varicocele) till the time when they are unable to impregnate the female partner and then evaluated for infertility. Infertility may affect 1 in 6 couples, and in approximately 40% of cases, it is due to issues found in male fertility. Moreover, among those 40% cases, varicoceles can occur in 15% of males facing infertility. However, the good news is that there are fertility treatment options to treat infertility caused due to a varicocele.

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