Inguinal hernia and hydrocele
Treatment & Care
How will my son’s inguinal hernia be treated?
Your child will need an operation to fix his inguinal hernia. It will be surgically repaired fairly soon after it’s discovered, since the intestine can become stuck in the inguinal canal. When this happens, the blood supply to the intestine can be cut off, and the intestine can become damaged. Inguinal hernia surgery is usually performed before this damage can occur.
A hernia operation is usually a fairly simple procedure and your child will probably be able to go home the same day.
- During a hernia operation, your child will be placed under anesthesia.
- A small incision is made in the area of the hernia.
- The loop of intestine is placed back into the abdominal cavity.
- The muscles are then stitched together.
- Sometimes, a piece of meshed material is used to help strengthen the area where the muscles are repaired.
How will my son’s hydrocele be treated?
Hydroceles usually go away with time in infants.
If the hydrocele has not disappeared by age one or becomes very large, your son may need surgery. You will see both the surgeon and the anesthesiologist before the operation on the day of surgery. During the operation, your son will receive general anesthesia, which means that he won’t feel pain during the surgery.
Most children go home the same day as the operation. However, some spend a night in the hospital for observation. After surgery, your son will stay in the recovery room until he’s ready to go home. Parents are welcome to stay with their children in the recovery room.
What happens after the surgery?
- The nurse in the recovery room will show you how to care for your son before you go home and will give you written instructions.
- Most children have some pain after surgery, so your child’s doctor may prescribe some pain medicine.
- There are usually no stitches to remove. The stitches are under the skin and dissolve on their own.
- A clear, waterproof bandage will cover the incision in the groin area.
- Your son may shower or have a sponge bath at home. Do not give your child a tub bath or allow swimming until seven days after the surgery.
- Your son shouldn’t use straddle toys or bicycles, play sports or go to gym class for three weeks after surgery.
- Your doctor will want to see your son about two weeks after the surgery to check how the area is healing.
What’s my child’s long-term outlook?
Once your child’s hernia or hydrocele is closed, either spontaneously or by surgery, it is unlikely that either problem will reoccur.