Skip to main content


Pediatric Hydrocele

Key Points About Hydrocele in Children

  • A hydrocele is fluid buildup in the thin pouch that holds the testes in the scrotum.
  • Up to 1 in 10 baby boys have a hydrocele at birth. In most cases, it goes away without treatment within the first year.
  • There are two types of hydrocele:
    • A communicating hydrocele or hernia lasts longer than 12 to 18 months and requires surgery to repair.
    • A noncommunicating hydrocele may be present at birth. It often goes away on its own with no treatment within one year. Sometimes noncommunicating hydrocele remains large which makes it difficult to feel the testis. When this occurs, surgery is offered to remove the hydrocele.
  • Symptoms can include a lump or swelling that is smooth and not painful, or a scrotum that changes size.
  • After it goes away or is treated, long-term problems are rare.


Our team is standing by to schedule your child’s appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a hydrocele?

What causes a hydrocele?

What are the symptoms of a hydrocele?

How is a hydrocele diagnosed?

How is a hydrocele treated?

What are possible complications of a hydrocele?

When should I call my child’s healthcare provider?

Urology Treatment at Children's National Hospital

The Division of Urology at Children's National Hospital offers expert care and advanced diagnostic testing in a family-centered environment. Discover more about the treatment we offer.

Girl Smiling and Clapping

Help Kids and Make a Difference

Invest in future cures for some of life's most devastating diseases. Give today to help more children grow up stronger.

Girl Smiling and Clapping

Meet the Providers Who Treat Hydrocele

Departments that Treat Hydrocele

Baby crawling on exam table


At Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C., our pediatric urologists provide comprehensive care for disorders affecting reproductive and urinary organs.