A hydrocele is a painless build-up of fluid in the scrotum surrounding a testicle that causes the scrotum to swell. Hydrocele is more common in infants but can occur at any age. Hydrocele usually disappears on its own within a boy’s first year of life by the body absorbing the fluid.
Types of Hydroceles
This type of hydrocele is congenital and occurs when the tunica vaginalis (a slim pouch that holds the testicles within the scrotum) fails to completely close, letting in peritoneal fluid. Since the fluid is able to travel back and forth during the day and night, the size of the scrotum notably changes.
A non-communicating hydrocele may be present at birth or develop as the boy matures. It occurs as a result of the sac closing and the fluid not being able to be absorbed by the body and therefore accumulating in the scrotum without being able to travel to the abdomen.
A type of non-communicating hydrocele, a reactive hydrocele results from testicular torsion, tumors, infection, or inflammation in the scrotum as a result of trauma.
Hydrocele of the cord
This type of hydrocele occurs when the sac closes with fluid trapped inside the spermatic cord.
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Your child’s doctor will perform a physical exam checking for tenderness in a swollen scrotum. The doctor will also apply pressure to the child’s belly or scrotum to check if the size of the sac can be altered which can indicate that inguinal hernia may be present. Transillumination, the practice of shining a light through the scrotum can also be used to indicate if there is fluid in the scrotum and to differentiate a hydrocele from a hernia.
If your newborn has a non-communicating hydrocele, it will most likely disappear on its own within the first year of life. If it does not disappear on its own, it usually is a communicating hydrocele which will require surgery to prevent an inguinal hernia.
If your infant’s hydrocele doesn’t go away on its own or if you suspect your child has developed a hydrocele, you should visit a pediatric urologist who will help you determine if your child is affected by a hydrocele and provide the appropriate treatment. Dr. Grace Hyun is an experienced pediatric urologist located in NYC who specializes in all areas related to pediatric urology.
If you suspect that your child suffers from Hydrocele, an experienced pediatric urologist should be seen. Dr. Grace Hyun is a board certified urologist who specializes in pediatric urology. If you are in need of a Female Pediatric Urologist Manhattan, Top pediatric urologist New York, Pediatric Urologist New York, or Pediatric Urologist Manhattan, contact Dr. Grace Hyun.