What is a Hydrocele?
A hydrocele is a buildup of fluid around one or both testicles, causing the scrotum or groin area to swell. Usually, this swelling is present at birth. However, it may develop after injury or infection.
If you your child is suffering from a hydrocele, contact one of our Pediatric Urology locations today to schedule an appointment.
How Does a Hydrocele Occur?
During development, the testicles descend from the abdomen into the scrotum through the groin. Sometimes the passage does not close, and fluid drains into the scrotum. The opening usually closes before or shortly after birth. If it does not resolve within the first year of life, surgery may be recommended.
Symptoms of a Hydrocele
Hydrocele symptoms involve a swollen scrotum that usually does not cause pain or discomfort. Hydroceles don’t usually harm the testicles or cause problems later in life. However, when the hydrocele grows large and causes discomfort or does not resolve on its own, hydrocele surgery is needed.
Diagnosis of a Hydrocele
Hydroceles are diagnosed by history and physical exam. Sometimes an ultrasound is performed to confirm the diagnosis. Because inguinal hernias and hydroceles share a common cause, your doctor will also evaluate your child for a hernia.
Hydrocele Treatment Options
Hydroceles are common among newborn boys, and in most cases, resolve on their own within the first 6-12 months. More severe cases may need hydrocele treatment, which involves a simple operation during the first year of life. Hydroceles are often associated with inguinal hernias, and surgery is performed to correct both problems.