Inguinal Hernia Repair


What is it?

Inguinal hernia repair is a surgical procedure that corrects hernias to prevent the life-threatening complication of strangulation. In children, inguinal hernias usually form when an opening called the inguinal ring in the abdominal wall does not fully close in embryonic development, allowing tissue from within to push through the area of weak muscle. Inguinal hernias look like bulges in either the groin area or scrotum. Strangulation occurs when sections of the intestines are trapped in a loop in the hernia, restricting blood supply to the intestine.

How to Prepare

Prior to this surgical procedure, no food or drink should be consumed for at least eight hours in advance. Longer periods of fasting may be necessary depending on the age of the child. This practice prevents complication such as aspiration during general anesthesia, which is when food is expelled from the stomach into the lungs. Certain medications or supplements (such as blood thinners or NSAIDs) should not be taken for a week prior to the surgery. All medications and supplements should be discussed with the physician to determine readiness for surgery.

What happens during the procedure?

Children are placed under general anesthesia for the duration of the procedure. A breathing tube may be placed down the child’s throat to assist with breathing. Open surgical techniques use a small incision in the groin through which the surgeon removes the hernia sac, pushes the intestines back in its place, and closes the opening. The laparoscopic approach repairs the hernia by a similar method, utilizing two to three small incisions to allow surgical instruments and the laparoscope, a small camera affixed to lighted tube, inside the body.

Risks and Complications

* Infection

* Bleeding

* Blood clots

* Damage to adjacent organs and structures

* Pain

* Return of hernia


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