Hydrocele and Hernia
What is a hydrocele and hernia?
A hydrocele occurs when fluid collects in the scrotum and causes it to swell. This may or may not be accompanied by a hernia. A hernia is present when bowel or membranes, known as omentum, push through the abdominal wall either into or above the scrotum. A hydrocele or a hernia may be on one or both sides. These conditions can occur when the opening between the abdomen and the scrotum do not close after birth.
How often do these conditions occur?
- Hernia or hydrocele occurs in 3-5 percent of
- Hernias usually occur in newborns but may appear weeks, months or years after birth
- Prematurity and low birth weight can increase the chance for a hernia or hydrocele
What are the symptoms of a hydrocele or hernia?
Hydroceles appear as swelling in the scrotum. A hydrocele may appear larger at the end of the day or with increased activity. Hernias appear as a bulge in the groin.
Our approach to treating a hydrocele or hernia
A hydrocele that persists beyond 12 months of age usually requires a surgical correction. A hernia at any age should be corrected. The surgery involves making a small incision in the groin or inguinal area and then draining the fluid and closing off the opening between the scrotum and the abdominal area.
Facts about hernia and hydrocele surgeries
- Each year, our physicians treat more than 1,200 patients with a hernia or hydrocele. It is one of the most common surgeries in our division.
- The majority of the children do exceptionally well after surgery.
- The operation is routinely done through one of our day surgical units.
- Your child usually does not need to spend the night at the hospital.
- The incision is usually closed with dissolvable stitches under the skin and a glue seal on the surface that will fall off on its own, requiring no special care.
- Your child will be sent home with oral pain medication; some children require nothing more than Tylenol®.
Reviewed by: Division of Urology
Date: March 2011