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Inguinal Hernia Repair Home Care Instructions

(757) 668-7000

An inguinal hernia is when the bowel pushes through a weak spot in the muscles of the groin. Surgery is needed to repair the weakness.

What to expect after surgery:

  • Your child's wound may be puffy and there might be slight bruising to the area.
  • There may be scrotal swelling in boys that is as large as the original hernia. Swelling can last several weeks.
  • Your child's temperature may be increased for up to 48 hours after surgery.
  • There may be a small amount of bloody drainage.
  • Stitches will be under the skin and will dissolve.
  • The wound will feel hard under the incision (healing ridge) for several months. This will soften back to normal.
  • Steri strips (white tape bandages) or a clear plastic dressing will cover the wound. They will fall off on their own when ready (typically takes 7-10 days.) If they are still on at the post-op visit, the surgeon may remove them.
  • A non-aspirin pain reliever (such as Tylenol) may be used for any pain.
  • It is normal for your child not to want to stand up straight while the wound is tender.
  • Most children are fussy after surgery. Parents will be invited to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) shortly after surgery.
  • Your child may have a red/flushed look to his face and chest for 1-2 hours after surgery. This blotchy, red color is a normal response to the medicine received during surgery.

Special care:

  • Dress your child in loose clothing after surgery. Babies can wear diapers.
  • Keep the wound clean and dry for at least 48 hours. Your child may begin bathing 2 days after surgery. But, no submerging in the tub for two weeks.
  • Steri-strips should remain on at least three days. When they begin to peel off, that is okay.
  • A small amount of bleeding is normal. For bleeding that does not stop, apply pressure and call the doctor.
  • If your child is school age, he should not take gym class, play sports or climbing games for 2 weeks.
  • Your child can return to school in approximately 2 days.
  • Your doctor will let you know if a follow up appointment is needed. 

Call your child’s doctor if you are concerned and if:

Your child's wound looks red, has white or yellow drainage, or the drainage has a foul odor

The wound is hot to touch or there is a lump that you can feel.

Your child's temperature is greater than 101.5F rectally or by mouth. Slight fevers after surgery are normal. You should take your child's temperature at least once before bedtime the first night after the surgery.

Your child has vomiting that lasts more than six hours or vomiting is severe. Your child's nurse will discuss this with you before he goes home.

Your child has signs of dehydration. Your child can become dehydrated when he has prolonged or severe vomiting and is not able to drink enough fluid to keep up with the fluid loss

Signs of dehydration

  • Dry mouth
  • Sunken look around eyes
  • No tears when crying
  • Decreased amount of urine, which means fewer wet diapers than usual in an infant/toddler


Please call if you have any questions. Use the phone number your child's nurse gives you.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.

Reviewed: 10/2017

(757) 668-7000