Kidney, Reproductive and Urinary Conditions

Hydrocele Symptoms and Diagnosis

Symptoms of Hydrocele

Symptoms may depend on the type of hydrocele.

If your child has a communicating hydrocele, you may notice his scrotum changes size over the course of the day. This is because fluid is either filling the sac or draining back into his belly.

  • Swelling in the scrotum may be on one or both sides.
  • Swelling may increase when your baby is active or crying.
  • Swelling may when he's relaxed or resting.

In most cases, communicating hydroceles do not cause pain.

Symptoms of a simple hydrocele are:

  • Swelling stays the same over the course of the day.
  • Swelling very slowly gets smaller over time.

Simple hydroceles usually disappear before a boy's first birthday.

Hydrocele Diagnosis

Your baby's doctor will examine your child's belly area and groin, looking and feeling for a swollen scrotum that is not painful. Sometimes the doctor is not able to feel a boy's testicles because there is so much fluid in the scrotum. The doctor may be able to make the size of the sac bigger or smaller by pressing on the boy's belly or scrotum.

Sometimes doctors shine a light through the swollen scrotum. If your child has a hydrocele, the scrotum will look like it is full of clear fluid. If the doctor can see other tissue, the baby might have a hernia.

In some unusual cases, the doctor might ask to have an ultrasound exam of your child to make sure of the diagnosis.

Contact Us

If you have questions about hydrocele treatment, call our General and Thoracic Surgery Department at 206-987-2794, extension 4.