A hydrocoele is a fluid filled sac surrounding the testicle and within the scrotum. As the testicle is descending it passes from the back to front in the groin through a muscular canal in doing so carries a lining of the tummy wall with it as a sleeve. This sleeve (connection) usually closes after birth and certainly does so by the age of 2 but in a few boys this happen and the connection persists. This allows the fluid in the tummy around the intestines to flow through this canal into the scrotum surrounding the testicle.
It is very common in newborn boys. Natural resolution takes place by 2 years of age if this fails to happen an operation is needed to cure it.
The scrotum appears swollen like a balloon filled with water. This condition is not painful. Sometimes you may find that the swelling is bigger at the end of the day than the morning when your baby has just woken up, this is due to the fact during the day they are upright and the fluid remains in the scrotum whereas in the morning the fluid may have had a chance to drain back in to the tummy.
Under a general anaesthetic a cut is made in the groin and the sleeve of tummy lining through the fluid comes to the scrotum is carefully separated from the blood supply of the testicle and divided and tied off. The cut is closed. This will be done as a day case which means you will be able to take your child home the same day if all goes well.
The operation will take 30 minutes.
A general anaesthetic risk is small but exists. This will be explained by your child’s anaesthetist who is experienced in giving children a general anaesthetic and dealing with any complication should it arise.
As any other operation there may be some risks like a small blood clot forming in the area and infection but in only a small number of boys.
Your child will be brought back to the ward till he recovers and then allowed home once he feels comfortable. If there are any problems please contact us.
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