Groin Hernia Child
A groin or inguinal hernia is a bulge in the groin area. It is created when soft tissue pushes through a weak spot in the abdomen wall. Sometimes soft tissue also passes down a canal that connects the scrotum to the abdominal area. This canal is called the inguinal canal.
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Groin hernias are more common in boys than girls. Factors that may increase the risk of groin hernias include:
- Birth defect that affects the abdominal wall
- Family history of groin hernias
- Premature birth
- Open inguinal canal
- Chronic respiratory condition
- A previous hernia on other side
A bulge is the most common symptom. It may be easier to see this bulge when your child is crying. If your child is relaxed, the bulge may look smaller. Your child may also have some occasional pain in the area.
Hernias can sometimes get caught in the abdominal wall. This is called a strangulated hernia which can lead to more serious symptoms such as:
- Severe pain in the groin or abdomen
- Rapid heart beat
- Abdominal swelling
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
A strangulated hernia requires emergency care.
Most groin hernias require surgery. The surgery may be:
- Open surgery—An incision is made over the area so the doctor has access to the tissue. May be needed if there are complications.
- Laparoscopic surgery—Small incisions are made so specialized tools can be used to make the repairs.
If your premature baby has a groin hernia, surgery may be postponed for several months.
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.
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a (Hernia, Groin—Child; Hernia, Inguinal—Child; Inguinal Hernia—Child)
Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics https://healthychildren.org
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases http://www.niddk.nih.gov
About Kids Health—The Hospital for Sick Children http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Groin hernia in children. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115959/Groin-hernia-in-children . Updated July 23, 2015. Accessed June 6, 2016.
Hernia (umbilical or inguinal) in children. Boston Children's Hospital website. Available at: http://www.childrenshospital.org/conditions-and-treatments/conditions/hernia-umbilical-or-inguinal. Accessed June 6, 2016.
Inguinal hernia. Cincinnati Children’s website. Available at: http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/health/i/inguinal-hernia. Updated April 2016. Accessed June 6, 2016.