Children sometimes have inguinal hernias or hydroceles, which can be present at birth or develop later. An inguinal hernia is when a section of a child’s intestines pushes through a weak spot in the stomach into the groin or, in boys, the scrotum. It looks like a “bulge” in the groin area. A hydrocele is when fluid collects around a boy’s testes. Hydroceles cause swelling around the testicles, but they’re usually painless.
Both of these conditions either go away on their own by 12–18 months old or can be easily treated with surgery. Most inguinal hernia and hydrocele repairs are done on an outpatient basis in the operating room. That means your child can usually go home on the same day as their surgery.