Surgery for a congenital hydrocele/hernia

What is this?

This involves drainage of a fluid sac surrounding the testicle via an incision in the groin. Any communication between the fluid sac and the abdominal cavity will also be tied off

What alternatives are there?

Observation (the fluid may resolve with time), removal of the fluid with a needle, various other surgical approaches

What to expect before procedure

You will usually be admitted on the same day as your surgery. You will normally receive an appointment for pre-assessment, approximately 14 days before your admission, to assess your general fitness, to screen for the carriage of MRSA and to perform some baseline investigations. After admission, you will be seen by members of the medical team which may include the Consultant, Specialist Registrar, House Officer and your named nurse. You will be asked not to eat or drink for 6 hours before surgery and, immediately before the operation, you may be given a pre-medication by the anaesthetist which will make you dry-mouthed and pleasantly sleepy.

What happens during the procedure?

Normally, a full general anaesthetic will be used and you will be asleep throughout the procedure. A small incision is made in the groin to locate the fluid-filled hernia sac and to tie it off.

After the procedure

You may experience discomfort for a few days after the procedure but painkillers will be given to you to take home. Absorbable stitches are normally used which do not require removal. The average hospital stay is 1 day.

Potential side effects