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Wellington Children's Hospital

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A hydrocele is a collection of fluid around the testis. Of itself it does not cause a problem in that it is not painful and it has no effect on the testicle, but it is important to differentiate it from a hernia as a cause of a swollen scrotum. Most hydroceles are present at birth and then gradually go away (90% go away by age 2 years). If a hydrocele does not go away by age 2 years it is because the connection to the abdominal cavity, through which the fluid comes, has persisted. In such a case we would offer to operate on it.
The operation to fix it is the same as for an inguinal hernia repair in that the connection with the abdominal cavity is found and tied off so that fluid cannot reaccumulate around the testis. This is done through a cut in the groin in an operation usually performed under general anaesthetic as a daystay procedure.

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This page was last updated at 1:15PM on October 2, 2017.