Scrotal Edema

Swelling of the Scrotum with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.

Fatigued pulmonary hypertension patientWe recently received a great question about scrotal edema (swelling of scrotum and often the penis as well).  This is a very common problem for men with PAH who are retaining large amounts of fluid.

Not only is this problem very uncomfortable but also it can make urinating a challenge. When patients have so much fluid retention that they experience scrotal swelling, I often hospitalize them in order to achieve rapid removal of large quantities of fluid. As you lose salt and water from your body with diuretics, swelling in your legs, abdomen, and even scrotum will improve.

There are some other disease processes that can mimic scrotal swelling (such as a large varicocele or hernia).  It is important to be evaluated by your treating physician promptly.  Furthermore, if you are having trouble urinating, labs should be obtained to check your kidney function.  A scrotum the size of a grapefruit or a cantaloupe is a miserable experience and warrants urgent attention.   Many patients are embarrassed and reluctant to bring this to their doctor’s attention.  Speak up for yourself, don’t suffer in silence.