Inguinal Hernia FAQs

When an organ or tissue in the body pushes through an opening or weak spot in a muscle, it can end up in a space where it doesn’t belong. Surgery is often required to ease the pain and repair the muscle impacted by this change. 

What's an inguinal hernia?

An inguinal hernia in children can occur when internal tissue, such as a small or large intestine, juts out through the groin muscle. A prominent bulge can result, which can be even more painful when they bend, cough or do strenuous activity.

What are the symptoms of a hernia?

If you notice a bulge in your child’s side, it could mean they’ve developed an inguinal hernia. Ask them if they feel an accompanying burning sensation, pain or weakness around their groin. If so, it’s best to consult your Mercy pediatrician right away.

Can an inguinal hernia be healed without surgery? 

Surgery is the only definitive treatment for an inguinal hernia. It’s possible that other kinds of treatments, such as wearing a binder or corset, may alleviate certain symptoms, but the only way to truly get rid of one is through surgery. 

What does an inguinal hernia feel like?

Typically, children with inguinal hernias describe a pain or aching pressure near the site of the actual bulge. This discomfort can worsen the longer it goes untreated and may increase with more strenuous activity.  

How long does swelling last after inguinal hernia surgery?

How long swelling lasts after inguinal hernia surgery can depend on your child’s body type. Bruising and swelling can last up to 2 weeks following their operation, but will usually resolve on its own.  

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