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An inguinal hernia occurs when tissue bulges through a weak spot in the groin area. Your child may have a tender bulge in the groin or, in a boy, the scrotum. Your child may also have pain, pressure or burning, or a feeling that something has "given way."
Hernias are caused by a weakness in the belly wall. The bulge or discomfort may occur after heavy lifting, straining, or coughing. Hernias do not heal on their own, and they tend to get worse over time.
In most cases, a child with an inguinal hernia will need surgery.
Infants 12 months of age and younger who have these hernias have a much higher risk of problems than older children and adults. For example, the intestines may become trapped in the hernia. When this happens, it cuts off blood supply. Because of that risk, hernia surgery is often not delayed for infants.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if your child has any problems.
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Current as of: March 22, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kenneth Bark MD - General Surgery, Colon and Rectal Surgery
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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