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Inguinal Hernia in Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Dec 2, 2022.

An inguinal hernia happens when organs or abdominal tissue push through a weak spot in the abdominal wall. The abdominal wall is made of fat and muscle. It holds the organs in place. The hernia may contain fluid, tissue from the abdomen, or part of an organ (such as an intestine).


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that your child may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your child's medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done to your child. Make sure all of your questions are answered.

Stay with your child for comfort and support

as often as possible while he or she is in the hospital. Ask another family member or someone close to the family to stay with your child when you cannot be there. Bring items from home that will comfort your child, such as a favorite blanket or toy.


  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for your child's medicine.
  • Sedative medicine may be given to help your child relax. This medicine may be needed before your child's healthcare provider manually reduces the hernia.
  • Antibiotics help prevent a bacterial infection. Your child may be given antibiotics before surgery to fix the hernia.
  • IV fluids may be given to treat or prevent dehydration.


  • Blood tests may be used to test your child's kidney function or find signs of infection.
  • An x-ray, ultrasound, CT, or MRI pictures may show the tissue or organ that is contained within the hernia. It may also show if there is a lack of blood flow to the organ, a blockage in the intestines, or a hole in the intestines. Your child may be given contrast liquid to help the organs show up better in the pictures. Tell the healthcare provider if your child has ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid. Do not let your child enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the healthcare provider if your child has any metal in or on his or her body.


  • A nasogastric (NG) tube may be inserted to relieve nausea and vomiting. An NG tube is a thin tube that is inserted through your child's nose and into his or her stomach. The tube can remove fluid and air from your child's stomach.
  • Manual reduction of the hernia may be done. Manual reduction means your child's healthcare provider will use hands to put firm, steady pressure on your child's hernia. The provider will continue until the hernia disappears inside the abdominal wall.
  • Surgery will be needed if your child's hernia stops blood flow to his or her organs. Surgery may also be need if the hernia blocks your child's intestines, or causes a hole in the intestines.


An inguinal hernia may cause a blockage or hole in your child's intestines. It may also stop blood flow to the intestines. Surgery will be needed to fix these problems.


You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child.

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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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.