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  • Writer's pictureMr Brian MacCormack

Lump in the groin?

Updated: Jun 23, 2022

Has your child got a lump in the groin that comes and goes? Well they probably have an inguinal hernia. I'm going to tell you what this means for your child and how I can fix it for them.

If your child has a lump in their groin that comes and goes they most likely have an inguinal hernia. This is where the stuff inside the tummy cavity pushes down towards the scrotum in boys, or the labia in girls.

The problem is that their hernia won’t better without surgery and sometimes it can come out and get stuck! This is an emergency because the bowel, testicle or ovary can be damaged very quickly.

So in a stuck hernia the lump stays out, gets painful, red, or causes your child to vomit. If any of these things are happening to your child you should bring them to A&E immediately. Thankfully this is not common.

I repair inguinal hernias through a small opening in the groin. The procedure is performed under general anaesthetic and usually takes me around 30 minutes to complete. All of the stitches are dissolving and under the skin and I also use special skin glue to protect the wound afterwards.

There are of course small risks such as bleeding and infection that can happen in any operation. Damage to the sperm tube, the blood supply to the testicle, or to the bowel or nerves is thankfully extremely rare. After the procedure the testicle can be pulled up towards the groin or the hernia can very occasionally come back. Lastly, watch out for a hernia on the other side (occurs in <5% of children who are born at full-term).

Following your child’s procedure, they should be able to go home the same day and be back to their normal activities within a number of days.

Once the scar is healed I would recommend rubbing in bio-oil on a daily basis and avoiding sunburn as this can really help improve the appearance of scar in the long term.

So, if you’re worried that your child has an inguinal hernia – why not get in touch:

Until next time, take care of yourself and your family. Best wishes.

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