Childr Health Information

Inguinal Hernia Repair

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Topic: Tests & Procedures

Your child is scheduled to have a hernia repair. This handout was written to answer some of the questions most often asked by parents and children regarding this procedure and home care. If you have any questions after reading this handout, please ask the outpatient nursing staff, the anesthesiologist or your child’s doctor.

An inguinal hernia is a weak spot in the muscle in the groin area. This weak spot allows part of the bowel to slip through. This may cause a small bulge under the skin in the groin area. Hernias seem to happen more often in boys than girls. The hernia may be on one or both sides of the groin and may be easier to see when your child coughs, cries or strains.

The hernia is repaired in surgery by suturing (sewing) the weak part of the muscle closed. The incision is usually in the lower groin area on one or both sides. It is about one-inch long.

You and your child need to arrive two hours before surgery so that we can perform all the necessary tests and procedures. These tests and procedures include:
1. Admittance to the day surgery unit - When you get to the hospital, you and your child will go to the day surgery area on the second floor. You will check in with the receptionist at the desk. Please remember that no brothers or sisters are allowed to stay in the day surgery area. If you must bring other children, an adult will need to stay with them in our family waiting room.
2. Admitting procedure - The admitting clerk will ask you information about you and your child, including insurance information. She will also make your child a name bracelet. This bracelet must be worn by your child during the entire surgery stay. Please be sure to check the bracelet for the correct spelling of your child’s name, correct birthdate and doctor’s name.
3. Blood work - A complete blood count (CBC) will be drawn on your child if medically indicated. This will be done by sticking your child’s finger or arm. You can stay with your child while this is done. If blood work has been drawn on your child in the last seven days, please let us know. This might prevent your child from being stuck for lab work again. Urine tests are done on all girls who have started their period or who are 10 years of age or older.
4. Being seen by a nurse - You will be taken to your child’s room in the pre-op area. A nurse will admit your child to the unit. A nurse or assistant will take your child’s temperature, check his or her breathing, heart rate and blood pressure. She will weigh your child and have you dress him or her in hospital pajamas. Your child can leave on underwear and socks for now, but will need to remove them before going to surgery. The nurse will also ask you to help complete needed paperwork. This includes signing the operative consent form and filling out a medical history form. Remember that the person who has custody of the child must sign the operative consent form.
5. Being seen by the anesthesiologist - The anesthesiologist is the doctor who will put your child to sleep for surgery. This doctor will answer any questions you have about the medication that will be used to put your child to sleep and how long your child will be under anesthesia. Please feel free to ask the anesthesiologist any questions.
6. Preoperative medicine - The anesthesiologist will look at your child and ask for information about your child’s health and physical condition. The doctor will look at any lab tests that were done and will then decide what kind of medication your child will need before surgery. Your child may receive medicine to drink or if your child is older, an IV may be started. The medicine may make your child drowsy, so please remain at his/her bedside. Your child’s face may be flushed and he/she may complain that his/her throat feels dry. These are all normal for this kind of medicine.
7. History and physical - The surgical resident or pediatric nurse practitioner will do a health history and a physical exam on your child before surgery. This may have  already been done in the office or clinic, in which case a brief update is required.

You will be able to stay with your child until he/she goes into surgery. For safety reasons, we ask that only two adults stay at each child’s bedside. Please stay in your child’s pre-operative room until you have spoken to your child’s surgeon after surgery.

This surgery takes about one-hour. As soon as your child’s doctor has finished the surgery, he or she will talk to you. Make sure that you ask your doctor about instructions for home care (such as diet), when the next appointment should be and when your child can return to school and physical education classes. Also, ask about getting the incision wet during bathing, showers or swimming.

When the surgery is over, your child will be in the first-stage recovery room for about 30-minutes to 1-hour or until your child is awake. Some children take longer to awaken from the anesthesia than others. This is common. When your child is awake, he/she will be brought to you, where you must stay with him/her until discharge. Sometimes your child may be crying when you first see him/her. This is because he/she has just awakened and misses you.

Yes, your child needs to have an IV for surgery. It will be used to give your child fluids and medication. Children under the age of eight usually have their IV started in  surgery after they have fallen asleep from the mask anesthesia. The IV must stay in place until your child is able to drink fluids without vomiting.

The surgical incision is usually in the lower groin area on one or both sides. It is usually less than one inch in length. You will not see any stitches because they are under the skin and will dissolve on their own. The dressing you will see is either a plastic coating or a steri-strip (tape-like dressing). The steri-strip type will come off on it’s own in a few days. It is possible some blood may leak on the dressing. There may be a small amount of bruising at the site.

The nurse will be checking your child often (every 30 minutes) after surgery. She will be doing this to make sure your child is recovering well and to help decide when  your child can be discharged from the hospital. Most children will stay in the outpatient area for a least one-hour after surgery. Young children and infants are sometimes kept overnight to be watched and will be allowed to go home in the morning. Usually, your child can be discharged to home after he or she:
1. Is fully awake
2. Is able to drink fluids and keep them down
3. Has stable vital signs. This means temperature, heart rate, breathing rate and blood pressure are in their normal range.
4. Is not having acute pain. We can give your child Tylenol®, if he or she is uncomfortable from the surgery.

The nurse will give you specific instructions for home care. After you have read these instructions, the nurse will answer any questions you may have. In general, home-going instructions include:
• Keep the dressings as clean and dry as possible. It is okay if the dressings begin to fall off in a few days.
• By the time you go home, your child should not have much pain. If your child has pain, Tylenol® is usually all that is needed.
• Your doctor may ask for a follow-up visit in seven–10 days. At this appointment he or she will check the incision site and finish removing the dressing if it has not fallen off.
• Your doctor will tell you what your child may or may not do. When your child is ready to go home, your child can be carried or taken down to the front door in a wheelchair. It is preferred that one adult bring the car to the front entrance for your child’s convenience. The day after surgery, you and your child will receive a follow-up phone call from one of the nurses. Please let us know how everything went after surgery. Feel free to make any comments. We really are concerned about your child and how things are going. If you have any questions after reading this handout, the outpatient nursing staff, the anesthesiologist or your child’s doctor can answer them.

You should call your doctor if you have any questions about your child. Be sure to call if:
• Your child has a fever of 101°F or higher
• You notice more redness, swelling or drainage at the incision site
• Your child has more pain or fussiness

PDF: Child Health Information - INGUINAL HERNIA REPAIR

Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).

La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.
Corregido: 1993, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2005

The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.

Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.
Revised: 1993, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2005


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