This prospective study compared the effects of scrotal and inguinal approaches in hydrocele repair. Thirty-two adult patients, enrolled between January 1994 and May 2000, were randomly assigned to an inguinal (n=17) or a scrotal (n=15) approach. Scrotal size (at the surgical site) was measured preoperatively and postoperatively. Edema, infection, and hematoma formation were evaluated on the first, second, and third days after operation. Hematoma occurred in 4 patients in the scrotal approach group and in I patient in the inguinal approach group. Scrotal size was significantly smaller in the scrotal approach group on all postoperative evaluation days. Three months after surgery, all patients in both groups were free of hydrocele. The inguinal approach is a feasible option in the surgical treatment of adults with hydrocele; it results in less edema than is noted with the scrotal approach. Larger studies are needed to confirm these results.