Small child

Inguinal hernia in children is more likely to develop in boys

Inguinal hernia in children is more likely to develop in boys


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Inguinal hernia is the most common birth defect in children requiring surgical treatment. Touches about 1-5% of pediatric population patients, of which overwhelmingly parts (because 3-10 times more often) applies to boys. The detected hernia requires surgical treatment, as there is a risk of entrapment that may lead to, for example, necrosis of entrapped intestines. What exactly we are dealing with when talking about inguinal hernia and when and how the treatment is carried out, you will learn in this article.

Inguinal hernia - what is this?

Inguinal hernia manifests itself in the form a soft lump located in the groin, descending towards the external genitalia of the baby. The hernial sac is formed from an ungrown peritoneal diverticulum - a membrane that lines the abdominal cavity and its organs from the inside. This diverticulum penetrates outside through the inguinal canal, which is located slightly above the groin and that is why the hernia is located in this area.Correct peritoneal diverticulum should overgrow during utero, but in many children this does not happen, as a result, hernia develops. In this case, fluid and organs from the abdominal cavity may get into her bag. Most often, the girls get ovary there, and boys loops of the small intestine, but they may also find the large intestine, appendix or flaccid fragment of the bladder.

What symptoms can a child inguinal hernia give?

Inguinal hernia manifests itself as a soft lump slightly above the groin, enlarged when crying, shouting or coughing. This is due to the elevated pressure that arises in the abdomen during these activities. In this way, the contents of the abdominal cavity are pushed into the diverticulum, i.e. a hernial sac that exits through the inguinal canal. This lump may go back while the baby is calming down or under the influence of gentle pressure and massaging e.g. during bathing.

Watch out for serious complications!

By far the most dangerous complication of inguinal hernia is her situation entrapment. This means that the previously removable hernial sac can no longer get back into the abdominal cavity. This is a serious threat, because trapped organs are deprived of blood supply, which causes them to pass over time may be necrotic.This is the case, for example entrapment in the intestinal sac - the toddler is then restless and irritable, has a reluctance to eat, nausea and vomiting. The lump in the groin, on the other hand, becomes hard and tender when touched. Prolonged trapped hernia can sometimes even lead to the development of a generalized infection, i.e. sepsis.

In the event that the hernia does not get trapped, along with the growth and development of the toddler the hernial sac is also enlarged, which can give you discomfort. Nevertheless, there is always a risk that such an enlarged bag will be trapped outside the canal along with the contents, the consequences of which can sometimes be very tragic.

How is inguinal hernia treated?

Inguinal hernia in both adults and children is treated by surgical methods. In the case of entrapment of the hernia sac or entrapment of the ovary in girls, surgery is performed urgently - in other cases, this happens as planned. Planned procedures are most often carried out as part of "one-day surgery", thanks to which the toddler's stay in the hospital is minimized to just a few hours.

The procedure can be performed by two methods: through a direct incision of the groin skin and drainage of the hernia, and using the laparoscopic method. The choice of method depends on the patient's qualification by the surgeon and the capabilities of the center.
Conducting a surgical operation leads to a cure. Relapses occur in only 3% of cases and most often affect premature babies and patients undergoing laparoscopic surgery.

The surgical treatment of the hernia carries a very low degree of complications, among which the most common are:

  • surgical wound infection (3%)
  • vas defect (<1%)
  • hematoma on the scrotal skin.

After surgery to improve the comfort of a small patient local anesthesia of the surgical wound is performed. If there is pain, they are also served analgesics in rectal or oral form. Due to the use of absorbable sutures, there is no need to pull them out.

Until the dressing is removed (normally until receiving a "clean dressing", usually about 3-4 days), the child cannot take a bath or soak the wound. After creating a scab on the wound, you can do it without any problems. For approximately 2 weeks, you should limit your physical activity as this may cause pain and exacerbation of swelling around the wound. Due to the high pressure exerted on it in a sitting position, the child should not be in it for too long, but often and slowly change them.

Although inguinal hernia is one of the most common birth defects in children, its complications can be very dangerous for babies suffering from them. If you detect a lump in your groin in your child, go to the doctor for consultation - he will examine the child thoroughly and make an appropriate diagnosis.

In the case of inguinal hernia, treatment is carried out with the help of surgical methods, which leads to its complete cure. Both complications and relapses after such procedures are extremely rare, and the procedure itself is most often performed as part of "one-day surgery", making the stay in the hospital less traumatic for a toddler and lasts only a few hours.