A cyst is a growth in a tissue or organ. In the testes, there are several types of cysts that take on different names:
- an umbilical cord cyst indicates a closing malfunction of a channel that is present during embryonic life, called the perineo-vaginal canal. It lets a little liquid drip from the abdomen before closing, leaving a small mark along the cord.
- Vaginal hydrocele has a similar mode of occurrence in children, but the difference is that the accumulation of fluid is in the terminal part of the duct. There is also talk of hydrocele when the channel is not completely closed, and an abnormal leaking from the channel continues. In adults, a hydrocele can also be seen, but the cause is different, often secondary to an infection, trauma or other testicular pathology.
- Another type of cyst is an epididymal cyst, which is a buildup of fluid in the path that leads from the testicle.
- In children, cord cysts or vaginal hydroceles are often discovered shortly after birth, and are not serious. They appear as a small swelling located on the scrotum and that are painless. Hydrocele may also be manifested as an increase in size, during a standing position, and in pressure on the scrotum.
- Adult hydrocele is also present as a mass on one testicle, often large in volume and painless but uncomfortable.
- The epididymal cyst also causes discomfort with generally a less bulky scrotum that is nevertheless painful.
The diagnosis is usually straightforward in children, but the distinction between vaginal cyst and hydrocele of the cord is not however always. The confirmation of the presence of liquid is by using the technique of transillumination, in which a light is applied to one side of the scrotum: one will be able to see the passage of the light beam through the scrotum. A spontaneous return to normal in the early years of life is sometimes possible.
Transillumination also allows for the diagnosis of hydrocele in adults. In case of doubt, a testicular ultrasound is performed.
In most cases in children, clinical monitoring is performed to observe the evolution of the cyst after finding the benign nature of the lesion. The disappearance often occurs during the first year, but in cases of persistent and severe discomfort, surgery may be performed, usually after 7 years of age. Vaginal hydrocele in the adult must be made if the identified cause cannot be treated.
Original article published by
. Translated by Jeff