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Kidney, Reproductive and Urinary Conditions

Hydrocele

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Neither type of hydrocele is dangerous. Simple hydroceles usually go away on their own. Communicating hydroceles are usually fixed because they are potential hernias. Doctors consider surgery only if the hydrocele is still present when your son reaches a year old.

Surgery for Hydrocele

Doctors treat a communicating hydrocele like a hernia. Boys need surgery to repair it. This surgery is called hydrocelectomy (pronounced hi-druh-see-LEK-tuh-mee). In most cases, you can take your child home the same day he has surgery.

If your son has surgery, he will get medicine to make him sleep without pain during operation (general anesthesia). Your son's surgeon will make a small cut (incision) in the crease between the leg and the lower belly. Then the surgeon will drain the fluid. The surgeon will remove the sac and close the opening between the lower belly and groin. Finally, the surgeon will sew up the incision.

The surgery takes about 30 minutes. Your child will be in the recovery room for another hour or so.

After Surgery for Hydrocele

We will give your child pain medicine to make him comfortable. You'll need to keep the incision clean and dry until it heals. Your son's surgical team will teach you how to care for the incision. They will also talk with you about whether you need to limit your child's activity for a while.

About two to three weeks after surgery, your child will need to see his surgeon for a follow-up visit. The surgeon will make sure the incision is healing and your child is recovering well.

Who Treats This at Seattle Children's?

Should your child see a doctor?

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Summer 2014: Good Growing Newsletter

In This Issue

  • Understanding the Power and Influence of Role Models
  • Legal Marijuana Means Greater Poisoning Risks for Children
  • Why Choose Pediatric Emergency Care?

Download Summer 2014 (PDF)