Hydrocele Treatment In Babies: How Does It Work?

A hydrocele is a swelling in the scrotum that occurs due to fluid buildup in the skin that covers the testicles. It is common in newborns and usually resolves by 1 year of age. However, it can also occur later in life as a result of an injury to or in the scrotum.

More about hydrocele

About 10% of male babies are born with one hydroceleAlthough most babies do not show any symptoms of the condition and the condition clears up on its own, in some cases medical intervention is required.

Types of a hydrocele

Depending on the age at which the hydrocele occurs, it can be of two types:

  • infantile: This is the most common type and occurs in newborn babies.
  • Adult beginning: This kind hydrocele occurs in older boys and adult men and can occur at any time in their lives.

Depending on whether the bag closes or not, hydrocells can be of two types:

  • to communicateWith this type hydrocelethe bag is not completely sealed, and this causes the liquid in the bag to move in and out.
  • non-communicatingWith this type hydrocelethe bag containing the liquid is completely sealed and the body does not absorb the liquid.

What are the symptoms of a hydrocele?

See your doctor if you or your child experience swelling of the scrotum. It is important to rule out other causes of the swelling that may need to be treated. For example, a hydrocele may be associated with a weakness in the abdominal wall that allows a loop of intestine to extend into the scrotum (inguinal hernia).

A baby’s hydrocele usually goes away on its own. But if your baby’s hydrocele doesn’t go away or gets bigger after a year, ask your child’s doctor to reexamine the hydrocele.

Get medical help right away if you or your child develops sudden, severe scrotal pain or swelling, especially within hours of an injury to the scrotum. These signs and symptoms can occur with a number of conditions, including blocked blood flow in a twisted testicle (testicular torsion). Testicular torsion must be treated within hours of the onset of signs and symptoms to save the testicle.


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What are the complications of a hydrocele?

A hydrocele does not in itself mean that there is a serious problem. However, some complications can occur or go along with one hydrocele,

  • infection
  • Inguinal hernia
  • Fracture of the hydrocele
  • Pyocele (fluid in the sac is replaced by pus)
  • Haematocele (fluid in the scrotal sac is replaced by blood)
  • Stones in the scrotum
  • Testicular hernia
  • sexual dysfunction
  • Infertility

What Causes a Hydrocele?

A hydrocele can develop before birth. Normally, the testicles descend from the abdominal cavity of the developing baby into the scrotum. A sac accompanies each testicle, allowing fluid to surround the testicles. Usually each bag closes and the liquid is absorbed.

Sometimes the fluid remains after the sac has closed (non-communicating hydrocele). The fluid is usually absorbed gradually in the first year of life. But occasionally the sac remains open (communicating hydrocele). The sac may change size or if the scrotal sac is compressed, fluid may flow back into the abdomen. Communicating hydroceles are often associated with inguinal hernia.

This condition is more common in premature babies.

Except newborns, hydrocele is also common in men over 40 years of age. The most common cause of this is fluid accumulation through the unsealed ducts through which the testicles had descended. This condition can also occur due to an injury or inflammation in the scrotum.

Risk factors associated with a hydrocele

There are a few risk factors that lead to the development of one hydrocele, These risk factors vary for infants and adult males. In the case of babies, risk factors cannot be determined because they are usually born with a hydroceleHowever, risk factors that can lead to the development of hydrocele after birth include:

How is a hydrocele diagnosed?

For a hydrocele treated, it must be diagnosed. The first diagnostic method for a hydrocele is by physical examination. Your doctor will palpate the scrotum to determine the type of swelling, whether there is any pain, and will try to palpate your testicles. If there is fluid buildup in your scrotal sac, your doctor will not be able to feel your testicles.

Your doctor will shine a bright light source on the scrotum to confirm hydroceleThe fluid in the scrotum will light up when a light is shined on it to confirm hydroceleHowever, if your scrotal swelling is due to a growing tissue mass, such as with cancer, no relief will be seen.

Blood and urine tests help determine if you or your child has an infection, such as epididymitis.

Ultrasound to help rule out hernia, testicular tumor, or other causes of scrotal swelling

How is a hydrocele treated?

once one hydrocele is confirmed, the next step is to treat it. If your newborn baby suffers from the condition, then his hydrocele should resolve within a few months to a year. In the case of your child hydrocele does not go away or gets bigger, you should see a urologist immediately.

In adults, a hydrocele usually disappears within six months. However, in many cases where it does not go away on its own, causes pain, or increases swelling, surgery may be advised.

The operation for one hydrocele is performed under general anesthesia and you are usually discharged the same day or the following day. Surgery is usually warranted in the case of a communication hydrocele,

Another, less invasive method of a hydrocele is a needle aspiration in which all the fluid is drawn out of the swelling. This method is chosen for men who are at risk of complications from surgery.


A hydrocele is not a harmful or life-threatening health condition. It’s easy to diagnose and easy to treat, with minimal damage to your body or reproductive life. However, it is always recommended to visit your doctor to rule out other harmful causes of scrotal swelling.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Is hydrocele the same as hernia?

It is common for a hydrocele with a hernia, but they are different conditions. A hydrocele is the accumulation of fluid in the scrotum around the testicles. However, an inguinal hernia is the bulging of the abdominal contents into the inguinal canal into the scrotum. In addition, the two conditions must be clearly diagnosed as their treatment is also different.

  1. How long does hydrocele surgery take?

Hydrocele The surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis and takes about 30 minutes. Based on your baby’s condition, they can be discharged on the same day or the next. However, they still need a few more days of home care until they are fully recovered.

  1. Does a hydrocele come back?

Hydroceles rarely come back after surgery. Some, however hydrocells those that are large tend to come back even after surgery. These cases must be treated surgically if it recurs within a year.


Call 1860-500-1066 to make an appointment.

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