A hernia is a condition that some children are born with that literally is a piece of intestine that sticks out through a small hole in the abdominal muscle wall. A hernia can develop in the first few months after the baby is born because of a weakness in the muscles of the abdomen. Note that straining during a bowel movement and crying do not cause hernias. However, the increased pressure these actions produce on the abdomen can make a hernia more noticeable; it can be seen visibly bulging. The reason we worry about some types of hernias is that there is a risk that the intestine could twist on itself and cause problems that can lead to damaged intestines.
Types of hernias seen in babies and infants
Inguinal hernias are found in the groin—the inguinal area. They tend to be more common in premature babies. Although these hernias occur mostly in boys, they can occur in girls, as well, but much less frequently. Because of the risk of twisting and damaging the intestines, inguinal hernias require surgery to repair them. Each situation is different, but in general, it is recommended that they be repaired as soon possible after they are discovered. Hernia repair operations are performed under general anesthesia and usually in day surgery.
Umbilical hernias are sometimes referred as outies … the belly button pops outwards.
Pediatrician DR.PAUL Roumeliotis is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The information provided above is designed to be an educational aid only. It is not intended to replace the advice and care of your child’s physician, nor is it intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. If you suspect that your child has a medical condition always consult a physician.