Baby boys sometimes have a hydrocele at birth. Hydroceles also occur in older boys and men. Sometimes they form when there is also a hernia (an abnormal bulging of tissue) present. Hydroceles are fairly common.
Surgery to repair a hydrocele is often done at an outpatient clinic. General anesthesia is used so you will be asleep and pain-free during the procedure.
In a baby or child:
- The surgeon makes a small surgical cut in the fold of the groin, and then drains the fluid. The sac (hydrocele) holding the fluid may be removed. The surgeon strengthens the muscle wall with stitches. This is called a hernia repair.
- Sometimes the surgeon uses a laparoscope to do this procedure. A laparoscope is a tiny camera that the surgeon inserts into the area through a small surgical cut. The camera is attached to a video monitor. The surgeon makes the repair with small instruments that are inserted through other small surgical cuts.
- The cut is most often made on the scrotum. The surgeon then drains the fluid after removing part of the hydrocele sac.
Needle drainage of the fluid is not done very often because the problem will always come back.