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Ventral Hernia in Children
WHAT YOU NEED TO 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.
- Acetaminophen decreases pain and fever. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly.
- Give your child's medicine as directed. Call your child's 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.
Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:
Your child's healthcare provider 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 healthcare provider for a diet plan that is right for your child.
- Ask your child's healthcare provider 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 healthcare provider 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 healthcare provider says it is okay.
Contact your child's 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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.