Hydrocele is a sac filled with fluid that forms around the testicles which causes swelling in the scrotum. The swelling is painless and disappears without any treatment. Hydrocele is fairly common in newborns and develops before birth, but it can occur at any age. In uterus, a baby’s testicles descend from the abdomen into the scrotum. Each testicle has an accompanying fluid filled sac. Usually, the sac closes itself and the fluid is absorbed. But this doesn’t happen for babies with hydrocele. There are two kinds of hydroceles:

  • Non-communicating hydrocele in which the fluid remains in the sac after it has closed

  • Communicating hydrocele in which the sac remains open allowing flow of fluid in and out of the abdomen

Usually, the only symptom of hydrocele is visible swelling of the scrotum. It does not cause any pain in babies. 
Consult a doctor at the Children’s Hospital Service Line at The Aga Khan University Hospital the only internationally accredited hospital in Pakistan, if your child has a hydrocele which does not disappear after a year of birth or if it enlarges.
Your time with your doctor maybe limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started.

Initially, the doctor will perform a physical exam, which may include:

  • Checking for tenderness in the scrotum

  • Applying pressure to the abdomen to rule out inguinal hernia (a condition in which part of the small intestine protrudes through the groin)

  • Trans-illumination in which a light is shone through the scrotum to determine the presence of fluid in the scrotum and rule out the possibility of a solid mass (cancer) causing swelling

Your child’s doctor may also recommend the following tests:

  • Blood and urine test to help determine the presence of any infection

  • Ultrasound to check for hernias, tumours or any other causes of scrotal swelling​

Hydrocele rarely requires any treatment and mostly goes away on its own within the first year. If, however, hydrocele does not disappear, it may require surgery called hydrocelectomy.

Hydrocelectomy is performed under anaesthesia and is a fairly simple procedure performed by our highly trained doctors at the Children’s Hospital Services at The Aga Khan University Hospital. During the surgery, an incision is made in the scrotum or lower abdomen to remove the hydrocele.
The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.
The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.
The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments’ costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.
Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.