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What is a hydrocele?

A hydrocele is a swelling in the scrotum and is common after birth. It is caused by fluid collecting in the sac around the testicle. Your child will probably need an operation to repair the hydrocele.

How long will it take?

The operation takes about 45 to 60 minutes. This includes the anaesthetic, operation and time spent in the recovery room. Your child will be required to stay in the Day Unit for approximately two hours following surgery.

When can my child eat and drink again?

If your child is awake on return to the ward, he can have clear fluids immediately (breastfed babies can have a breastfeed). A light diet will be offered when fully awake.

Care at home

Pain relief

  • Have a supply of paracetamol at home. It can be given as per the instructions on the packaging for the first three to five days after the operation to relieve discomfort.
  • Give other pain relief medicine if advised.
  • Do not give aspirin.

Diet and fluids

Your child may eat and drink when feeling well.


It is not uncommon for children to vomit on the night of the operation. If your child is vomiting, give sips of clear fluids, try a piece of dry toast or a cracker biscuit and increase the amounts as tolerated until the vomiting settles. If vomiting continues after 24 hours seek medical advice.


Allow plastic or clear dressing to fall off spontaneously or as advised by your child's surgwon. If your child has a plastic dressing the can bath or shower after 24 hours. If they have a white dressing this must be kept dry so sponge bath only or remove dressing after days or as advised.


Allowed after seven daysm, or as advised by your child's surgeon. 

Points to remember

  • Hydrocele surgery usually requires admission for the day only.
  • Vigorous play or contact sport should be avoided for about 14 days or as advised.
  • Your child may return to school after five to seven days if feeling well.
  • Take child to your GP or go to your closest hospital that treats children if there is excess vomiting, persistent high temperatures or excessive pain not relieved by paracetamol.
  • If you are concerned about the operation site, please contact your local GP.

Follow up visit

An appointment will be arranged with the Surgeon prior to discharge. 

Emergency contact

To ensure your child receives the best possible care in an emergency, you should call 000 or go to your nearesr Emergency Department.

If you have any concerns or questions please contact your doctor.

Contact Mater Children’s Private Brisbane

Salmon Building,

Raymond Terrace,

South Brisbane QLD 4101

Telephone: 07 3163 8111



Mater acknowledges consumer consultation in the development of this patient information.
Mater Doc Num: PI-CLN-470021
Last modified 28/4/2020.
Consumers were consulted in the development of this patient information.
Last consumer engagement date: 23/10/2019
For further translated health information, you can visit healthtranslations.vic.gov.au/ supported by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services that offers a range of patient information in multiple languages.
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