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Hydrocelectomy Home Care Instructions

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A hydrocele is a buildup of fluid in the scrotal sac. The fluid comes down from the abdominal cavity through a channel in the groin, which should have closed at the time of birth. A hydrocelectomy is done to close the channel. Your child's doctor will make a cut in the groin area, remove the channel, and repair the opening in the muscles. This surgery will take about an hour.

What to expect after surgery:

  • Your child's wound may be puffy.
  • There may be bruising and swelling of the scrotum. The hydrocele may not look smaller right away after surgery.
  • Your child’s temperature may be higher than usual.
  • There may be a small amount of bloody drainage.
  • Stitches will be under the skin and will dissolve.
  • The wound will feel hard under the incision (healing ridge) for several months. This will soften back to normal.
  • Steri-strips (white tape bandages) or a clear plastic dressing will cover the wound.
  • Your child's doctor will prescribe medicine for pain relief at home. A non-aspirin pain reliever (such as Tylenol®) may be all that your child needs.
  • It is normal for your child not to want to stand up straight while the wound is tender.
  • Most children are fussy after surgery. Parents will be invited to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) shortly after surgery.
  • Your child may have a red/flushed look to his/her face and chest for 1-2 hours after surgery. This blotchy, red color is a normal response to the medicine received during surgery.

Special Care:

  • Dress your child in loose clothing after surgery. Diapers are okay for babies to wear.
  • Keep the wound clean and dry for at least 48 hours. No tub baths or showers for two days.
  • Steri strips should remain on at least three days. When they begin to peel off, that is okay.
  • A small amount of bleeding is normal. For bleeding that does not stop, apply pressure and call the doctor.
  • Light, quiet activity is required for your child for two weeks or as instructed by his doctor.
  • Your child should not take gym class, play sports or climbing games, ride bikes, or straddle toys until after the post-op check-up. Your child's nurse will discuss this with you.
  • Your child may return to school within 1-2 days.
  • Support your child's legs when lifting to decrease abdominal pain.
  • Schedule a post-op check-up in 10-14 days after the surgery.

Call your child’s doctor if:

  • Your child's wound looks red, has white or yellow drainage, or the drainage has a foul odor.
  • The wound is hot to touch, or there is a lump that you can feel.
  • Your child has a croupy (barky) cough/cry or wheezing.
  • Your child's temperature is greater than 101.5°F rectally or by mouth. Slight fevers after surgery are normal. You should take your child's temperature at least once before bedtime tonight.
  • Your child has vomiting that lasts more than six hours or vomiting is severe. Your child's nurse will discuss this with you before your child goes home.
  • There are signs of dehydration. Your child can become dehydrated when he has prolonged or severe vomiting and is not able to drink enough fluid to keep up with the loss.

Signs of dehydration 

  • Dry mouth.
  • Decreased amount of urine, which means fewer wet diapers than usual in an infant/toddler.
  • Sunken look around eyes.
  • No tears when crying.

Remember: This handout is intended as a general guide for home care after surgery. Please follow specific instructions from your child’s doctor and call the office if you have questions. Use the phone number your child's nurse gives you.


Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.

Reviewed: 05/2009

(757) 668-7000