This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics Inorganic Substances", by Charles D. F. Phillips. Also available from Amazon: Materia medica and therapeutics.
The injection of iodine in cases of hydrocele gives better results than any other remedy. Port wine and tincture of iron are both very inferior to it. The serous fluid should first be evacuated thoroughly, and then 1 to 4 dr. of iodine tincture injected (according to the size of the cyst). Sometimes inflammatory reaction occurs, and lasts two to six weeks, but the ultimate result is usually good. I have seen one case of fifteen years' duration, where the scrotum hung, nearly to the knees, and was supported by a sling round the neck; after puncturing and evacuating, 6 oz. of iodine tincture were injected: the physiological effects were strongly developed, but complete cure followed.
I believe that Sir Ranald Martin introduced this method of treatment, but he diluted the tincture with two parts of water.
Mr. Furneaux Jordan has recently written to advocate the use of two or three threads soaked in the tincture and drawn through the hydrocele, to act like a seton. This succeeds in some cases (Lancet, i., 1876).