Scrotal Edema

All about Scrotal Edema

Scrotal edema, or swelling in the area of the scrotum, can be the result of any of a series of conditions, although the two most common causes are trauma, testicular torsion or congestive heart failure.  Often scrotal edema happens after a surgery in that area of the body.  If you are suffering from any unusual swelling anywhere on your body you should be sure to check with a physician so that he or she can diagnose your condition.  Do not use the information you learn here in lieu of a professional opinion.

Treatment for Trauma Related Scrotal Edema

If you began having symptoms of scrotal edema just after having trauma to the area of your scrotum—for example, if a high velocity soccer ball struck you in your scrotum during a match—then you should treat the problem as you would any other injury of this kind, with the RICE method.  Rest, Ice, Constrict, Elevate.  You should ice it down and keep it secure, as much as possible.  If the pain continues to increase or if you find that you are having other negative symptoms, like a fever, you should contact your physician immediately as it is possible that you may have a rupture of some kind.

Testicular Torsion

In younger males, sudden and unexplained pain and swelling in the scrotum may be an indication that the epididymis is twisting off the testicles—what is known as testicular torsion.  This condition is severe and requires immediate surgical treatment to relieve the pain and head off more serious damage.

When the patient arrives at the doctor, the physician will suspect testicular torsion.  In order to try to confirm this hypothesis, the physician needs to evaluate the amount of blood flow to the testicles.  Lack of blood to the testicles or a reduced or pinched off flow of blood to the testicles is an indication of testicular torsion.  The physician will use a special stethoscope called a Doppler stethoscope to determine if flow is appropriate.

If he or she determines that something is amiss, the first course of action is an attempt to untwist the epididymis manually from the outside.  Occasionally this procedure can relieve the immediate problem for the time being, although surgery is usually still recommended as a follow-up in order to determine the cause of the problem and insure that it does not recur.

Usually, the patient will have ice applied to his scrotum in order to reduce swelling and ease pain, and the nursing staff will prepare the patient for surgery, shaving the scrotal area, checking on allergy history, denying food and drink, etc.

The key however, is to have the condition treated right away.  If the patient gets to the hospital and has surgery within a quarter of a day, nine of ten times the patient will manage to save his testicles.  If half a day has gone by however, only half successfully manage to keep their testicles, and if the patient waits more than a day to consult a doctor the reduced blood flow strangles the testicles and renders them useless in virtually all cases.

Other Conditions

There are also several other condition that may result in scrotal edema.  Many conditions involve cysts in the scrotum.  Some may be malevolent cysts, while others may be no big deal, but since you don’t know, you should have your physician check right away.

Infection in the scrotum can also lead to swelling of this kind.  As with other conditions, getting it diagnosed and treated right away is key to avoiding life threatening and debilitating complications.