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After Your Child's Inguinal Hernia Repair

Your child had a procedure called inguinal hernia repair. A hernia, also called a rupture, is a weakness or tear in the wall of the abdomen. An inguinal hernia looks like a bubble or bulge in your child’s groin area. This is from the intestine pushing against the weak spot. During your child’s surgery, the surgeon made a small cut (incision) to repair and support (reinforce) the weak spot. Below are instructions for caring for your child after the surgery.

Home care

  • Keep in mind that some swelling in the area of treatment is normal during the first few days after surgery.

  • Give your child pain medicines as needed. After 2 days, your child should be in little or no pain.

  • Let your child eat or drink as usual.

  • Have your child wear loose, comfortable clothing. 

  • Don’t pull off the strips of tape that are used to close your child’s wound. These should come off on their own in a week or so. If the strips are still in place after 10 days, you may remove them. If surgical glue was used, it should peel off on its own in 5 to 10 days.

  • For the first 3 days after surgery, give your child sponge baths only. After this, your child can bathe or shower as usual.

  • Your child can likely return to school or daycare in a few days. Ask their healthcare provider.

  • Talk with your child's provider about physical activity. Don’t let your child lift objects weighing more than 3 pounds, climb, or do strenuous activities for several weeks. You should also limit your child’s activities that involve straddling, such as bike riding or horseback riding. 

When to call the healthcare provider 

Call the provider right away if your child has any of the following:

  • Signs of infection in the incision. such as redness, fluid, warmth, and pain

  • Trouble peeing (urinating)

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher or as directed by their provider

  • Vomiting or nausea that doesn’t stop

  • In a boy, swelling of the scrotum that gets worse

  • No bowel movement in 3 days

  • Belly (abdominal) pain that doesn’t get better or that gets worse

Online Medical Reviewer: Amy Finke RN BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Liora C Adler MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 2/1/2022
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