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Classifying Hydroceles of the Pelvis and Groin: An Overview of Etiology, Secondary Complications, Evaluation, and Management.

Current Urology 2017 April
INTRODUCTION: A hydrocele is defined as the pathological buildup of serous fluid in the pelvis and groin due to various etiologies such as diseases or trauma. It has distinct clinical manifestations, particularly discomfort and psychosocial distress. Understanding the anatomy, embryology, and physiology associated with hydrocele formation is crucial to understand its onset and progression.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A MEDLINE® search was conducted using keywords for the relevant classification of hydrocele and its etiology, complications, sexual barriers, evaluation, and management.

RESULTS: Appropriately classifying the hydrocele as primary, secondary communicating, secondary noncommunicating, microbe-induced, inflammatory, iatrogenic, trauma-induced, tumor-induced, canal of Nuck, congenital, and giant is important for identifying the underlying etiology. Often this process is overlooked when the classification or etiology is too rare. A focused evaluation is important for this, so that timely management can be provided. We comprehensively review the classifications, etiology, and secondary complications of hydrocele. Pitfalls of current diagnostic techniques are explored along with recommended methods for accurate diagnosis and current treatment options.

CONCLUSION: Due to the range of classifications and etiologies of hydrocele in the pelvis and groin, a deliberate differential diagnosis is essential to avoiding imminent life-threatening complications as well as providing the appropriate treatment.

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