A hydrocele is a swelling around the testicle caused by a collection of fluid.
All boys have a connection between their abdomen and 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 (see figure 1).
What are the benefits of surgery?
Your child should no longer have the hydrocele.
Are there any alternatives to surgery?
Surgery is usually recommended if the connection has not closed by the time the child is three to four years old.
What does the operation involve?
Most hydroceles in children are repaired through a cut in the groin. The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic. The operation usually takes between half an hour and three-quarters of an hour.
Your surgeon will find the connection and tie it off.
What complications can happen?
1 General complications of any operation
Infection of the surgical site (wound)
2 Specific complications of this operation
Developing a lump under the wound
Injury to nerves that supply the skin around the groin
Damage of the blood supply to the testicle
Damage to the vas (tube that carries sperm away from the testicle)
How soon will my child recover?
Most children go home the same day. Your child will usually be well enough to return to school after a week or so. In a small number of cases the hydrocele can come back.
A hydrocele is a common condition where fluid collects around a testicle. Surgery is usually recommended if a hydrocele continues beyond the first three to four years of life.
Paying for your procedure
Hydrocele repair costs are covered by most medical insurance policies, but please check with your insurer first. If you are paying for your own procedure the cost will be explained and confirmed in writing when you book the procedure. Ask the hospital for a quote beforehand, and ensure that this includes the surgeon’s fee, the anaesthetist’s fee and the hospital charge for your procedure.