Ventral Hernia In Children
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
A ventral hernia is a bulge through an abnormal opening in the wall of your child's abdominal muscles. The bulge is often part of your child's intestine, but it may be also be tissue or fat. Two types of ventral hernias that occur in children are epigastric and spigelian. An epigastric hernia usually occurs above your child's belly button. A spigelian hernia is rare in children, but may occur on one side of your child's lower abdomen.
AFTER YOU LEAVE:
- Pain medicine: Your child may need medicine to take away or decrease pain. Know how often your child should get the medicine and how much. Watch for signs of pain in your child. Tell caregivers if his pain continues or gets worse. To prevent falls, stay with your child to help him get out of bed.
- Give your child's medicine as directed: Call your child's primary healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists.
Follow up with your child's primary healthcare provider as directed:
Your child's primary healthcare provider (PHP) will feel your child's abdomen to see if his hernia has returned. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Help your child prevent another ventral hernia:
- Weight loss may help your child prevent a ventral hernia if he is overweight or obese. Ask your child's PHP for a diet plan that is right for your child.
- Ask your child's PHP how prevent constipation. This may help your child avoid straining when he has a bowel movement. Walking and other exercise can help your child have regular bowel movements. Drinking enough water and eating foods such as fruit, bran, and prune juice may also help. Your child's PHP may give him fiber medicine or a stool softener to help make his bowel movements softer and more regular.
Ask when it is okay for your child to return to his normal daily activities. Your child should not bathe or take a shower until his PHP says it is okay.
Contact your child's primary healthcare provider if:
- You see or feel a new bulge in your child's abdomen.
- Your child has sudden new swelling in his abdomen.
- Your child has vomited.
- Your child is constipated.
- Your child has blood in his bowel movement.
- Your child has bleeding or pus from or near his wound.
- You have questions about your child's condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- Your child has a fever.
- Your child's abdomen is very hard.
- Your child's hernia is purple or blue.
- Your child has pain in his abdomen or back that does not go away, even after he takes pain medicine.
- Your child has bleeding from his wound that does not stop.
- Your child has sudden difficulty breathing.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.