Groin Hernia Child

Overview

Definition

A groin hernia happens when soft tissue pushes through a weak spot in the wall of the belly. Sometimes the tissue also passes down a canal that links the scrotum to the abdominal area. It is called the inguinal canal.

Inguinal Hernias
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Causes

Causes may be:

  • A large inguinal canal
  • A weakened area in the lower abdominal muscles

Risk Factors

Groin hernias are more common in boys. They are also more common in babies that are born very early.

SymptomsandDiagnosis

Symptoms

The most common symptom is a bulge in the groin. It may be easier to see this bulge when a child is crying. The child may also show signs of pain.

Hernias can sometimes get caught in the abdominal wall. This is called a strangulated hernia. Symptoms may be:

  • Vomiting
  • Swollen belly

A strangulated hernia needs emergency care.

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. This is often enough to make the diagnosis.

Images may be taken if the diagnosis is not certain. This can be done with an ultrasound.

Treatments

Treatment

Groin hernias are repaired with surgery. Babies born very early may not have surgery until later.

Prevention

There are no known guidelines to prevent this health problem.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.

a (Hernia, Groin—Child; Hernia, Inguinal—Child; Inguinal Hernia—Child)

RESOURCES

Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics https://healthychildren.org 

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases http://www.niddk.nih.gov 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

About Kids Health—The Hospital for Sick Children http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca 

Health Canada https://www.canada.ca 

References

Groin hernia in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/groin-hernia-in-children. Accessed December 16, 2020.

Inguinal hernia. Cincinnati Children’s website. Available at: http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/health/i/inguinal-hernia. Accessed December 16, 2020.

Wang K. Assessment and Management of Inguinal Hernia in Infants. Pediatrics. 2012 Oct;130(4):768-773.