Inguinal hernia in babies (hernia inguinalis)

During the development of the fetus in the womb, the inguinal canal (located between the abdomen and thighs) is lined by the peritoneum, which forms back until birth and completely encloses the digestive organs and thus forms a boundary to the reproductive organs. At the hernia However, abdominal contents shift into the inguinal canal because the opening has not closed properly or has opened up again. Or there are gaps in the skin or muscle tissue, especially at the points where the spermatic cord in boys and a suspension ligament of the uterus in girls come through the abdominal wall.

Boys are four times more likely to suffer from hernias than girls.

The protrusion of abdominal contents (often bowel loops) into the inguinal canal is commonly referred to as a hernial sac. Hernia is a fairly common disorder in babies and young children. It affects about one in 20 babies and 30 percent of all premature babies. Boys are four times more likely to be affected than girls. A possible explanation for this is that the boy’s internal sex organs form in the abdomen during pregnancy and only migrate to the testicles in the seventh month, after which the peritoneum closes. Here there is often a disturbance, either the testicles are now trapped in the abdominal wall or the Hernia occurs in the testicle.


In girls it occurs partly in the genital area hernia, tissue or part of the intestine is pushed from the abdomen into the inguinal canal. Studies have shown that 40% of all hernias occur on the right side of the body, 20% on the left. In the remaining 20%, both sides are affected. A hernia is particularly recognizable during physical exertion, using the abdominal muscles, such as coughing or sneezing or during the pressing process during a bowel movement, with a soft swelling under the skin, on the labia or in the scrotum. If the hernia While babies and toddlers are not born with it, it develops very slowly, usually over many years. It is almost never the result of an accident or lifting a heavy load once. In no case can a hernia be treated by yourself. As soon as you realize that your child has a lump in the groin or abdomen, please contact your pediatrician or a hospital immediately. This is especially true if your baby will cry to any kind of pressure.

Usually causes a Hernia no pain, unless intestinal loops or other organs are trapped. This pain often occurs in combination with nausea and vomiting. If the intestine is pinched, the worst case scenario can be tissue death or intestinal blockage, and the peritoneum can also become inflamed. A lack of blood flow to the testicles can lead to permanent dysfunction. A hernia is nowadays always treated surgically because it cannot go away on its own. Treatment with so-called hernia ligaments is no longer up-to-date. Most operations of this type are performed on an outpatient basis. Depending on the type of fracture, however, the operation is performed under general anesthesia.

Your doctor will advise you in detail and inform you about possible complications and risks. During this consultation, the doctor must also be told whether there are other problems such as allergies, heart malformations or other infections. Babies and small children are increasingly treating pain after the procedure with pain suppositories. The baby should also drink a lot and be fed as usual. However, older children should not exercise for at least three to six weeks. After about eight days, the sutures or staples are removed and you can shower again. In 5 – 10% of cases, however, the fracture occurs again in the same place due to a weakness in the connective tissue. In the case of congenital weakness, the other side can also be affected.

Author: Editorial / Diana

Photo credit: Ramona Heim, Evgeny Atamanenko /

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