When a child has a hernia, part of the intestine (bowel) bulges through a weak area or gap in the muscles in the wall of the belly.
Two kinds of hernias are common in children:
Some children are born with a weakness in the belly muscles. In some babies, some of the muscles in the belly don’t completely come together before birth. This leaves a small opening below the skin.
Symptoms may include:
If your child has a lump in the groin that cannot be pushed back, it can mean that part of the intestines is trapped in the gap between the muscles. If blood cannot get to that part of your child’s intestines, part of the intestines may die. This can make your child very sick. Your child will need medical care right away.
Your child’s healthcare provider will ask about your child’s symptoms and medical history and examine your child. Tests may include:
Most umbilical hernias close on their own before your baby’s first birthday. Your child may need surgery if:
Surgery to repair the opening in the muscle wall is the main treatment for a groin hernia. Your child’s healthcare provider will close the weak spot. Ask your healthcare provider when it’s best for your child to have surgery.
Follow the full course of treatment prescribed by your child’s healthcare provider. Ask your provider:
Make sure you know when you should bring your child back for a checkup. Keep all appointments for provider visits or tests.