Children Hydrocele Procedure

The entire team at Pediatric Surgical Associates specializes in the treatment of hydrocele, or swollen scrotum in newborn boys. Hydrocele is a painless condition caused by accumulation of fluid in the testicles. This condition is often found in premature infants, but it can also develop during the puberty stage and even in adult males.


Hydrocele Information

Symptoms of Hydrocele in Children

Aside from painless scrotum enlargement, hydrocele does not normally cause any other symptoms. In rare cases, though, it can cause pain in the scrotum and pressure around the base of the penis.

Hydrocele Causes

During a newborn boy’s fetal development inside the womb, the testicles shift from the abdomen into the scrotum. As testicles travel downwards through a tunnel, they bring a sac with them. This sac contains fluid that surrounds the testicles and closes after the baby is born. At that point, the fluid is absorbed by the body. A hydrocele forms when the sac does not close or the fluid is not absorbed.

Diagnosis of Hydrocele in Children

Our expert staff will conduct a test if your child’s scrotum is swollen. Hydroceles can be diagnosed by shining a bright light through the child’s scrotum. If fluid is collected in the scrotum, the light will pass through. Doctors may also conduct an ultrasound in order to verify the diagnosis of hydrocele.

Hydrocele Treatment in Orange County

An open hydrocele normally goes away on its own. In cases where the open hydrocele has not disappeared or has grown larger by the time your son turns one year old, he may require surgery to prevent future complications.

If the hydrocele requires surgery, you will see both your pediatric surgeon and the anesthesiologist before the procedure. Your son will receive general anesthesia so he will feel no pain. During the procedure, a small incision is made in the groin, and the sac is emptied of its fluid content and removed. The opened muscle wall is then secured and reinforced with stitches.

Most children go home the same day as this operation, though some spend a night in the hospital for observation. After surgery, your son will stay in the recovery room until he is ready to go home. Parents are welcome to stay with their children in the recovery room.

Types of Hydrocele

  • Closed Hydrocele – When the sac closes but fluid stays in the scrotum, it is called closed hydrocele or non-communicating hydrocele. Closed hydrocele is often found in newborn boys. Eventually, the fluid is absorbed by your son’s body and goes away in time, but it may take up to one year for this to happen. If your son is older and has this kind of hydrocele, it may indicate other more serious conditions such as infection, torsion (twisting of the testicles), or a tumor.
  • Open Hydrocele – When the sac does not close, it is called open hydrocele or communicating hydrocele. In this case, the fluid around the testicle can flow back up into the abdomen. This type of hydrocele will look smaller when your son’s pediatric surgeon presses on his scrotum, causing the fluid to flow back into the abdomen.

At Pediatric Surgical Associates, your hydrocele specialists are experts at distinguishing the type of hydrocele affecting each child and knowing the exact type of treatment he would need.

Your Orange County hydrocele specialists at Pediatric Surgical Associates will be happy to answer any questions you have about the hydrocele procedure for your son. Call 714-361-4480 or Contact Us for more information or to make an appointment.