Hydrocele is a condition in which fluid builds up around the testicle. Hydrocele is usually painless and develops slowly. Hydrocele usually occurs in newborns, but it can also occur in adults. Hydrocele is generally harmless and will resolve on its own without treatment. However, if Hydrocele does not resolve on its own or causes discomfort, surgery may be necessary to remove the fluid and correct the problem.

Signs and Symptoms

There may be mild pain and the scrotum looks enlarged and swollen. In the case of an infant, the baby may not eat well, have malaise, not eat as usual and even be vomiting. The hydrocele may enlarge gradually in some cases whereas not show any changes in other. Though there is a risk of developing a hernia which may present itself as a bump in the abdominal wall.

Diagnosis and tests

Hydrocele is diagnosed on physical examination by a physician or a surgeon. The bulge in the groin area is checked by asking to cough. A beam of light passed through the bulge highlights collection of fluid, thus determining the condition.


Hydrocele is a relatively common condition that a qualified surgeon can easily treat. Even though it doesn’t affect fertility, it may cause pain and embarrassment, thus making it important to treat it. Medications cannot treat a hydrocele; it can only give symptomatic relief for pain.

In the case of an infant, a hydrocele may regress on its own in about 6- 12 months. However, if not regressed, it will need to be treated surgically. In the case of a baby, the patient is referred to a pediatric urologist or a pediatric surgeon.