Baby Hernias


A hernia is a bulge that results when an organ or some tissue runs out place. Hernias can occur in the groin, the abdomen, and the diaphragm. Sometimes a hernia appears at birth, however other times a hernia might develop in the first few months after a baby is born– and even later in childhood or adulthood.

Understanding hernia

In children, the most typical hernias are inguinal hernias, which occur in the genital region, and umbilical hernias, which are discovered around the navel. Both of these hernias most often occur in infants.

You might have heard the terms “put behind bars” and “strangulated” hernia. An incarcerated hernia is one that the doctor can’t push back by hand. A strangulated hernia– which can occur within hours of imprisonment– is one that is cutting off blood supply to part of the intestine. A strangulated hernia is an emergency.

What causes an inguinal hernia?

During pregnancy, a young boy’s testicles establish inside his abdominal area, then, sometime prior to birth, they press through a tunnel in the tissue in between the groin and the abdominal area (called the inguinal canal) and descend into the scrotal sac.

In girls, the ovaries descend through the tunnel and into the hips. At that point, the passage through the abdominal wall need to close up.

In about 5 percent of babies (mostly young boys, and especially those who were premature), the opening remains large enough to allow a loop of the intestine to poke down into the tunnel. Inguinal hernias do not improve on their own.

How can I inform if my child has an inguinal hernia?

You’ll notice a firm, oblong lump about the size of your thumb either in your child’s groin area or the scrotum. It may bulge out when he’s active or crying, then disappear back into the abdominal area when your child is unwinded.

What should I do about it?

If you believe your child has an inguinal hernia, see his doctor. She will suggest a consultation with a pediatric surgeon, who will assess the hernia and most likely recommend surgery. The surgery isn’t really usually an emergency, but it’s necessary to repair the hernia because– although it’s not hazardous as is– the loop of intestinal tract triggering the lump might get captured at some point, cutting off that area’s blood supply and permanently damaging the tissue.

umbilical hernia
How does umbilical hernia look like?

If this occurs, you’ll discover that the lump has actually all of a sudden gotten larger, harder, or darker, which you can’t press it back through the abdominal wall. Your child might be in pain and vomiting. In this instance, take him to an emergency room immediately, since the hernia needs immediate attention. Sometimes a doctor can decrease (push it back) by hand (in which case she’ll set up the surgery for a later date). Other times, immediate surgery will be necessary.

What else could cause swelling in the testicles?

If a baby’s testicles are swollen just after birth, it’s most likely due to the fact that of the extra fluid newborns carry or the extra dose of hormones he might have gotten from his mother just before birth. This swelling is safe, and he’ll flush the fluid out in his pee after a few days.

Another possibility is a hydrocele, which is a collection of fluid around the testicle from a small opening in the abdominal wall. About one in 10 baby young boys has a hydrocele at birth. The majority of these go away prior to the baby’s first birthday, however some require minor surgery to drain the fluid and fix the opening.

A hydrocele isn’t really painful, however if it gets big it can be uneasy, specifically as soon as a child becomes mobile. If you believe your child has a hydrocele, point it out to his doctor.

Likewise take your child to the doctor immediately if his scrotum is red, tender, and swollen, as these symptoms might signal other unusual but serious conditions, such as testicular torsion (a twisting of the spermatic cord).

How can I tell if my baby-girl has an inguinal hernia?

It’s much less common for a lady to have an inguinal hernia, however it does take place occasionally. In this case, the ovaries or a loop of the intestines has actually pushed through the abdominal wall into the child’s groin area or in some cases all the way into her labia (the loose skin at the opening of her vagina).

The protrusion will seem like a firm oblong swelling. An inguinal hernia in a woman can likewise be repaired with small surgery.

General swelling in the labia simply after birth is more than likely triggered by the extra fluid a newborn carries or the extra dosage of hormonal agents she may have gotten from her mother prior to birth. This swelling is harmless, and she’ll flush the fluid out in her pee after a couple of days.

Belly button (umbilical) hernia symptoms in baby

Umbilical hernias take place in 10 to 20 percent of children, more frequently in girls than boys, in infants born too soon, and in children of African ethnic culture. In the huge majority of cases, this condition is pain-free and safe.

belly button hernia in baby
How does belly button hernia look like?

While a baby remains in the womb, there is an opening in the abdominal wall beneath the navel. As the baby grows, this hole must close as the stomach muscles merge. In some infants, the muscles don’t combine entirely and a hole about the size of a fingertip remains.

If your child has an umbilical hernia, you may observe that the area around his navel bulges when he sobs or pressures. This is generally due to atmospheric pressure from inside the abdominal area.

Does an umbilical hernia have to be treated?

Although it might look impressive– in uncommon cases, it can bulge out to the size of a plum– an umbilical hernia usually causes no issues, as long as the area isn’t really tender or exceptionally swollen, the bulge is soft and compressible, and your child is comfortable. (If not, take him to the doctor right away. Umbilical hernias often require surgery.).

Most likely, the hernia will disappear by itself by the time your child is 2 or 3 years old, although some continue to improve until the age of 5.

In very uncommon cases, a piece of the child’s intestine can get captured in the opening, which could cut off blood circulation to the area and need immediate surgery. If you observe any swelling, inflammation, or discoloration around the area, especially if your child is vomiting or in pain, take him to an emergency clinic.


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