A hydrocele is a buildup of fluid in the scrotum, which is the sac that holds the testicle. This buildup of fluid is fairly common in male newborns but can happen at any age.
Before birth, the testicles develop in the baby’s belly. The testicles come down into the scrotum through a tube. Fluid from the belly (abdomen) also comes down this tube. Most of the time this tube closes by itself and the fluid around the testicle gets absorbed and goes away. If the tube does not close properly, fluid may keep draining into the scrotum. The reason that the tube does not close is not known.
Your child's scrotum may look very swollen or larger on one side. The hydrocele may change in size as the fluid comes and goes in and out of the scrotum. Usually it does not cause any pain.
Your child’s healthcare provider will ask about your child’s symptoms and medical history and examine your child.
Usually the fluid will be absorbed by the body during the first few months of life and won’t need any treatment.
Sometimes a relatively minor surgical procedure is needed to fix the hydrocele. The opening between the scrotum and the abdomen is closed and the fluid is removed from the scrotum.
Follow the full course of treatment prescribed by your healthcare provider. Ask your provider:
If there are activities your child should avoid and when he can return to his normal activities
How to take care of your child at home
What symptoms or problems you should watch for and what to do if your child has them
Make sure you know when your child should come back for a checkup. Keep all appointments for provider visits or tests.