Hydrocele Hernia

What is a hydrocele?

A hydrocele is a collection of fluid in the scrotum. The baby's scrotum will appear swollen or large and may fluctuate in size throughout the day.

There are two types of hydroceles:

How can a hydrocele be repaired?

A hydrocele usually does not need to be surgically repaired, since it usually goes away on its own within six to 12 months. If the hydrocele does not resolve on its own, then it needs to be surgically repaired to prevent further complications. The surgery takes about an hour and is usually an outpatient procedure (which means the patient can go home the same day of the procedure).

Before the surgery

Someone will call you the day before surgery to give you preoperative and day-of-surgery instructions.

During the surgery
After the surgery

Most children will be able to go home a few hours after surgery. However, premature infants and children with certain medical conditions might need to spend one night in the hospital for observation.

Your child will receive a prescription for oral pain medication at the time of discharge. Please have these prescriptions filled, and take them as directed.

Caring for your child after surgery

Usually, your child will feel fine again the evening after surgery or by the next morning. For four weeks after surgery, your child should avoid straddle toys, climbing, bike riding, roughhousing, etc.

You may give your child a sponge bath the day after surgery. Tub baths are permitted two days after surgery.

The small pieces of tape covering your child's incisions (called steri-strips) will gradually fall off on their own. Do not pull these strips off yourself. If the strips do not fall off on their own, your health care provider will remove them at your child's follow-up appointment.

When to call your child's health care provider

You might notice some minor swelling around the incision. This is normal. However, call your health care provider if your child has:

Follow-up appointment

A follow-up appointment will be scheduled one month after your child's surgery. Your health care provider will assess your child's wound sites and evaluate his recovery.


This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. For additional health information, please contact the Center for Consumer Health Information at the Cleveland Clinic (216) 444-3771 or toll-free (800) 223-2273 extension 43771. If you prefer, you may visit www.clevelandclinic.org/health/ or www.clevelandclinicflorida.org. This document was last reviewed on: