Inguinal or groin

An inguinal or groin hernia is a swelling seen in the groin area during a nappy change or at bath time.

It can develop at any age, it is often already present at birth. The swelling is more obvious when your child is crying. The swelling is the contents of the tummy (either fat or bowel) sliding through a hole in the groin. Symptoms include pain and a swelling that does not go away when the child is more relaxed and lying down. The hernia repair can be treated with either open or keyhole surgery. All hernia repairs are carried out under general anaesthetic .

It depends on the age of your child. If under 3 months we admit over night to monitor breathing after the general anaesthetic. Over the age of the 3 months children can usually go home approximately 3-4 hrs after the procedure.

Complications after hernia repair are very rare. Contact details of the centre as well as the out of hours are always provided following discharge in case of a problem.

Keyhole surgery, sometimes known as ‘minimal access’, ‘minimally invasive’ or ‘laparoscopic’ surgery, is carried out through small incisions (cuts) using a small tube with a light source and a camera which relays pictures onto a computer or TV monitor in the operating theatre, along with small surgical tools used to carry out the operation. The potential advantages are:

  • Reduced pain
  • Faster recovery
  • Reduced chance of bruising
  • Less scarring
  • Reduced handling of important tissues within the groin
  • It enables the surgeon to check the opposite groin to ensure no other hernia is present