Hernias are fairly common in children, especially infants that are born prematurely. Reducible hernias, which only appear when the child is crying or straining, may not be harmful and may go away as the child grows. Other hernias, called incarcerated or strangulated hernias, pose immediate health risks. These hernias require surgery, called a hernia repair.

All suspected hernias should be checked out by a pediatrician. If you notice any symptoms of an incarcerated or strangulated hernia in your child, you should seek immediate medical attention. Signs include:

  • A bulge in the abdomen or groin that is always present
  • Swelling around the bulge
  • Discoloration around the bulge
  • Pain in the abdomen or groin area
  • Irritability
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Fever

Although a hernia repair is one of the most common pediatric surgeries, CHKD surgeons know that no child’s surgery is routine. Our expert pediatric surgeons create personalized treatment plans for each child. Our surgeons place the herniated tissue back where it belongs and close the opening in the muscle to prevent the tissue from bulging out again.

Since we use minimally invasive surgical techniques, most children recover quickly from surgery, returning to normal activities in a week. Some hernia repairs may not even require children to stay overnight in the hospital. Your child’s surgeon will let you know what to expect for your child’s recovery.

Learn more about our pediatric surgeons by visiting the surgery webpage or calling (757) 668-7703.