Overview of inguinal hernia in children
- Chris Ramsook, MD
Chris Ramsook, MD
- Attending Physician
- Phoenix Children's Hospital
- Erin E Endom, MD
Erin E Endom, MD
- Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
- Baylor College of Medicine
- Section Editors
- Jonathan I Singer, MD
Jonathan I Singer, MD
- Section Editor — Pediatric Surgical Emergencies
- Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics
- Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine
- Jan E Drutz, MD
Jan E Drutz, MD
- Section Editor — General Pediatrics
- Professor of Pediatrics
- Baylor College of Medicine
- Deputy Editor
- James F Wiley, II, MD, MPH
James F Wiley, II, MD, MPH
- Senior Deputy Editor — Adult and Pediatric Emergency Medicine
- Senior Deputy Editor — Primary Care Sports Medicine (Adolescents and Adults)
- Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine/Traumatology
- University of Connecticut School of Medicine
Primary inguinal hernia occurs in 1 to 5 percent of all newborns and 9 to 11 percent of those born prematurely . Inguinal hernia repair is the most commonly performed surgical procedure in children . 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".)
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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- Associated conditions
- CLINICAL FEATURES
- No mass
- Reducible mass
- Incarcerated mass
- DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS
- LABORATORY EVALUATION
- No mass, reducible mass
- Inguinal mass in a female
- Incarcerated inguinal hernia
- - Manual reduction
- - Surgical reduction
- Surgical repair
- - Timing of repair
- - Contralateral exploration
- POSTOPERATIVE CARE
- INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS
- SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS