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Overview of inguinal hernia in children

Authors
Chris Ramsook, MD
Erin E Endom, MD
Section Editors
Jonathan I Singer, MD
Jan E Drutz, MD
Deputy Editor
James F Wiley, II, MD, MPH

INTRODUCTION

Primary inguinal hernia occurs in 1 to 5 percent of all newborns and 9 to 11 percent of those born prematurely [1]. Inguinal hernia repair is the most commonly performed surgical procedure in children [2]. Most children with an inguinal hernia have minimal symptoms. The diagnosis is usually made easily and the repair generally is uncomplicated. Strangulation can be avoided when incarceration is promptly recognized and treated.

The epidemiology, clinical presentation, and management of inguinal hernia in children will be reviewed here.

The evaluation of inguinal swelling and the causes and evaluation of scrotal pain and swelling in children and adolescents are discussed separately. (See "Evaluation of inguinal swelling in children" and "Causes of painless scrotal swelling in children and adolescents" and "Causes of scrotal pain in children and adolescents" and "Evaluation of scrotal pain or swelling in children and adolescents".)

DEFINITIONS

Hydrocele — A hydrocele is a fluid-filled collection that can occur anywhere along the path of descent of the testis or ovary. (See 'Embryology' below.)

Hernia — A hernia is the protrusion of a portion of an organ or tissue through an abnormal opening in the wall that normally contains it.

                              

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Thu Oct 06 00:00:00 GMT+00:00 2016.
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