A hematocele is a medical term used to describe a collection of blood in the scrotum of males. The scrotum is the pouch or sac that contains the testicles. A hematocele tends to develop relatively quickly following surgery or a traumatic injury involving the scrotum. In many cases, this collection of blood in the scrotum develops into a hardened mass that can become quite uncomfortable, especially if it begins to grow in size. Treatment options range from bed rest to surgical intervention, depending on the cause of the hematocele and the amount of discomfort it causes to the patient.
A physical examination by a doctor is generally all that is needed in order to obtain an accurate diagnosis. In some cases, an ultrasound may be necessary in order to determine the type of mass that is present. Since there are several types of masses that can be present in the area around the testicles, an ultrasound is considered to be the most reliable tool in diagnosing an hematocele.
While a hematocele itself is benign, meaning that it does not contain cancer cells, finding the reason for the blood accumulation is very important. If there has been no recent trauma or surgery involving the groin area, more tests must be done to find the cause. In some cases, testicular cancer can lead to bleeding, which may lead to the formation of an hematocele.
If the hematocele is relatively small and does not cause a lot of pain, conservative treatment such as foot elevation and bed rest may be sufficient. In more severe cases, surgical intervention may become necessary. Surgery may be performed to drain the accumulated blood from the scrotum. If a testicular tumor is found to be the cause of the bleeding, the entire testicle is generally removed to prevent the cancer from spreading to other parts of the body.
If surgery becomes necessary to treat the hematocele, it may take several weeks for the patient to recover fully from the procedure. This is due to the fact that the scrotum tends to swell after surgery. This swelling can cause discomfort or pain that does not easily go away. Prescription medications are often given to help the patient recover from the surgery. Owing to the sensitive nature of the genital area, the patient may be partially or completely disabled for a number of weeks following surgery, causing such a procedure to be performed only in the most extreme cases.