Conditions + Treatments

What is Hydrocele in Children?

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A hydrocele is fluid around the testicles that presents as painless scrotal swelling. One of your child's testicles may look larger than the other. Hydroceles are often found in newborn boys, especially premature infants. Hydroceles can also form during puberty and in adult males.

Recurring hydroceles in newborn boys represent a channel (or tube) that connect the abdomen to the scrotum, allowing the abdominal fluid to drain into the scrotum. The majority of hydroceles in newborn males will get better on their own as the channel shrinks down. Those that do not get better on their own may require surgical correction.

Hydroceles that occur in boys during puberty (or pubertal development) are “adult-type” hydroceles. These typically have no channel connecting the abdomen to the scrotum, but simply represent over-production of fluid by tissue surrounding the testicle. If they become large, surgical correction may be necessary. It is important that this type of hydrocele be evaluated, as it may occasionally be an early sign of testicular tumor.

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