We are experiencing exceptionally high volumes in our emergency rooms.
Every patient is important to us, and we are doing all we can to provide care quickly and efficiently.
Skip to main content
Go to homepage

Print Page

A to Z: Hydrocele

A hydrocele (HI-dro-seel) is a collection of fluid around the testicle within the scrotum.

More to Know

Before a boy is born, his testicles develop in the abdomen and then travel through a tube into the scrotum. Normally, this tube then closes.

When this tube doesn't close properly, fluid can leak into the scrotum. This results in a hydrocele. If the tube remains open (called a "communicating hydrocele"), fluid from the abdomen can travel up and down the open tube, making the hydrocele change size. If the opening in the tube is large enough, a hernia also can develop (when some of the intestines travel into the scrotum through the tube).

When the tube closes, trapping the fluid in the scrotum, it creates a "non-communicating hydrocele." This type of hydrocele also can be caused by fluid that comes from the tissues around the testicle due to trauma, infections, or other causes.

Hydroceles are common in newborn babies, especially premature babies, but can also happen in older boys and men.

Keep in Mind

Treatment depends on the type of hydrocele, the patient's age, and whether he has any symptoms (pain or discomfort). A hydrocele in a baby usually goes away by the first birthday. If it doesn't, or if the hydrocele develops after the first year of life or is associated with a hernia, surgery is often needed. This is a simple surgery and results are usually very good.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

What next?

Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
There are 10 nurses in the picture.

And we have many more pediatric primary care providers in Northeast Ohio. You can meet some of them here.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The five differences are:
– Phone color
– Coat pocket
– Stethoscope earpiece color
– Stethoscope bell dot
– Clipboard paper color

Need help finding a doctor, choosing a location or getting a general question about Akron Children's answered? Call us or fill out the form and we'll help in any way we can.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The two matching doctors are 9 and 14.

With virtual visits, you can see our pediatric experts from the comfort of home or wherever you are.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The correct path:
The Correct Path
We offer many ways to get pediatric care all over Northeast Ohio. Use this page to find the right kind of care and the most convenient location for you.