An inguinal hernia occurs when a passage way persists from the abdomen down the inguinal canal. Something from the abdomen then pokes down this passage way and may result as a lump in the groin or even down through the groin into the scrotum. The classical history is that at times the child looks completely normal, at other times there is a large lump in the groin. The commonest thing sliding down the hernia is the small bowel but there can also be omentum, and in girls it is sometimes the ovary. Inguinal hernias do not go away by themselves. Surgical repair is called an inguinal herniotomy and is indicated for all children with an inguinal hernia irrespective of their age as there is always a chance that the contents of the hernia for example the small bowel or the ovary may become trapped in the narrow hernia sac. This can lead to a bowel obstruction or lack of blood supply to that organ. A hernia getting stuck is much more common in the first year of life and becomes increasingly less common with advancing age.
Inguinal herniotomy - Post op care
We recommend no baths or showers for 2 days after the operation and then return to normal baths and showers. There is a clear, waterproof dressing over the groin incision. This will fall off of its own accord and does not need to be replaced. The stitches are dissolving stiches. They are under the skin and do not need to be removed. Return to all normal activities e.g swimming and sports after 10 days.