What Is a Hydrocele?


Quick Answer

A hydrocele is a small sac of fluid that forms inside a person's body, often near the male testis. The fluid in a hydrocele typically builds up over time. Hydroceles are common in infants and small children, and the fluid comes from the abdominal cavity.

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Full Answer

Because of their location and the swelling involved, hydroceles are often confused with hernias. Doctors sometimes even refer to them as hydrocele hernias. When a hydrocele is small and doesn't grow, it tends to resolve on its own. For larger or growing hydroceles, a surgical procedure is often necessary. The procedure involves removal of the fluid and reinforcement of the muscle wall to prevent further problems.

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