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Inguinal and Umbilical Hernias (Pediatric)

What is a hernia?

A hernia is a weakness or opening in the abdominal wall. This condition often results in soft tissue, such as fat or intestine, jutting through abdominal muscles and taking up space under the skin. 

Types of hernias include:

  • Inguinal (groin) hernias are the most common of all hernias and occur near the crease between the lower abdomen and upper thigh. When an inguinal hernia develops, the intestine may extend through the abdominal wall, forming a bulge on the right or left side. 
  • Ventral hernias are less common than inguinal hernias and occur in the epigastrium, the part of the abdominal wall above the umbilicus (belly button) and/or within the umbilicus itself. 
  • Hiatial hernias occur in the diaphragm, the large muscle separating the chest cavity and the abdomen that helps with breathing. 

What are the symptoms of a hernia?

  • A bulge in the abdomen or groin 
  • Pain at the site
  • Swelling, burning, and aching sensations in the same area 

How is a hernia diagnosed?

  • Physical exam usually diagnoses a hernia. 
  • Ultrasound may also be used.

What is the treatment for a hernia?

Our surgeons may use one of two surgical approaches. Both procedures use a piece of synthetic or prosthetic mesh to reinforce the weakness in the abdominal wall. 

Open Surgical Repair: This outpatient surgery entails making an incision directly over the hernia defect and sewing the prosthetic mesh to the abdominal wall. 

Laparoscopic Surgery: This minimally invasive procedure involves inserting small tubes (cannulas) through the abdominal wall and passing a mesh prosthesis through one of the tubes into the abdomen, affixing it to the undersurface of the abdominal wall with stitches and staples.