A hydrocele is a swelling around the testicle caused by a collection of fluid. It is a common problem in children.

All boys have a connection between their abdomen and their scrotum before they are born. By birth, this connection is usually closed. If it stays open, the fluid that surrounds the bowel may trickle down and collect in the scrotum.

What are the Benefits of Surgery?

Your child should no longer have the hydrocele. Surgery should prevent your child from having discomfort or embarrassment caused by the hydrocele getting larger as he gets older.

Hydrocele

Are There Any Alternatives to Surgery?

A hydrocele usually improves, as the connection will often close within the first few years of life. Surgery is usually recommended if the connection has not closed by the time your child is 2 to 3 years old.

The Procedure

What Does the Operation Involve?

The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually takes about an hour. Your surgeon will make a cut on the groin. Your surgeon will find the connection, which is stuck on to the blood vessels that supply the testicle and on to the vas, the tube that will carry sperm away from the testicle. Your surgeon will peel the connection away from these tubes before tying it off.

What Complications Can Happen?

Some of these can be serious and can even cause death.

General Complications of Any Operation

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Unsightly scarring of the skin
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)

Specific Complications of This Operation

  • Developing a collection of blood or fluid under the wound or in the scrotum
  • Damage to nerves that supply the skin around the groin
  • Damage of the blood supply to the testicle
  • Damage to the vas
Surgeon in face mask

Following Treatment

How Soon Will My Child Recover?

He should be able to go home the same day. Your child will usually be well enough to return to school after 1 to 2 weeks. Most children make a full recovery and can return to normal activities.

Summary

A hydrocele is a common condition where fluid collects around a testicle. Surgery is usually recommended if a hydrocele continues beyond the second year of life. If left untreated, a hydrocele can get larger and is unlikely to get better.

For more information on a Private Hydrocele Repair procedure, call New Victoria Hospital on 020 8949 9020 or use our contact form.

Acknowledgements

Authors: Mr Shailinder Singh DM FRCS (Paed. Surg.), Mr Jonathan Sutcliffe FRCS
Illustrator: Medical Illustration Copyright ©Medical-Artist.com

This page is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant healthcare team would give you.

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