A hydrocele is a build-up of fluid in the scrotum, the sac that holds the testicle. This build-up of fluid is fairly common in male newborns.
Before birth, the testicles develop in the abdomen, then come down into the scrotum through a tube called the process vaginalis. Fluid also comes down this tube. Most of the time this tube closes by itself, and the fluid around the testicle gets absorbed and goes away.
If the tube does not close properly, fluid can continue to drain into the scrotum. This is called a communicating” hydrocele. The reason that the tube does not close is not known.
Your child's scrotum may look larger on one side or may appear very swollen. Hydroceles usually are not painful. Communicating hydroceles may change in size as the fluid comes and goes in and out of the scrotum.
Your child's healthcare provider will ask about your child's medical history and symptoms. The provider will examine your child.
Usually the fluid will be absorbed by the body during the first few months of life.
Surgery may be needed if:
The surgery to fix a hydrocele is a relatively minor procedure that is done in day surgery. It takes about 1 and 1/2 hours.
Bring your child in for immediate care if:
Call during office hours if: