Which hernia is more common in child?
A hernia that occurs in the groin area is called an inguinal area. Part of the abdominal contents, such as intestines, can be pushed through this opening. Inguinal hernias occur in 2 percent of all children but are more common in boys than girls.
Children, especially premature infants and newborns, are susceptible to various types of hernias. This article discusses the types of hernias in children and ways to treat them:
A hernia is defined as a bulge in tissue and its appearance through a weak opening in the muscle wall, such as the abdominal muscles, causing a soft mass or bulge under the skin. As for the types of hernias in children, they are as follows:
1. Inguinal hernia
An inguinal hernia appears in the groin and is a type of hernia that usually occurs more in the right thigh than in the left thigh. This type of hernia in children affects certain groups to a greater extent, including:
- Children who have a family history of inguinal hernia .
- Children who have other problems with the urinary and reproductive systems.
Inguinal hernias are divided into two types:
- Direct inguinal hernia: This hernia occurs when a weak spot appears in the lower abdominal muscles and tissue pushes through.
- Indirect hernia: This hernia occurs if the inguinal canal fails to close before birth . The inguinal canal is a small passageway through the lower abdominal wall that may not close if the baby is born early, so this hernia is more common in babies who were born prematurely.
It is worth noting that 80% of hernias in children are inguinal hernias. In boys, excess intestinal tissue may enter the scrotum and cause swelling and pain. In girls, the swelling is in the labia or groin.
2. Umbilical hernia
This type of hernia appears in children around the umbilicus and usually affects newborns and children at the age of less than 6 months, and the most vulnerable group to this type of hernia in children are children who were born prematurely.
An umbilical hernia occurs if the opening in the abdominal wall from where the umbilical cord exits fails to close , and the baby’s navel appears swollen and enlarged.
This hernia usually heals spontaneously by the time the child is 4-5 years old, and if the hernia does not close automatically, the doctor may recommend surgery.
3. Epigastric hernias
This hernia occurs most often in boys, where there is a bump through the abdominal muscles between the chest and the navel , causing swelling in that area. Surgery is the way to repair this type of hernia in children.
4. Hiatal hernias
This type of hernia in children occurs when the upper part of the stomach bulges and bulges through a weak opening in the diaphragm, where the esophagus meets the stomach.
Although this type of hernia in children is very common, it is often small and does not cause a problem. However, your child may experience heartburn, indigestion and chest pain.
Treatment can depend on diet modification, medications, rest, and sometimes surgical treatment.
5. Incisional hernias
An incisional hernia occurs after abdominal surgery that causes the intestines to protrude into the abdomen around the incision, and the child will need another surgery to repair the hernia.
6. Sports hernias
It is an injury to the inguinal region that results from twisting and rotation. This hernia may occur in adolescents who play sports, such as: hockey, football, and tennis.
It can be difficult to diagnose this hernia because it does not show the classic signs of a hernia, and the main symptom is pain in the groin that may extend into the scrotum and last for several months but without the appearance of swelling in the tissues.
Symptoms of hernia in children
Male hernias occur six times more often than females. Most of the time, parents notice a bulge or a doctor discovers it during a routine examination. Symptoms of hernias in children include:
- A bump and bulge near the groin.
- Constant crying and pain in children .
- The lump increases in size under stress, such as: crying or coughing, and the lump disappears when the child is lying down or relaxing.
- The emergence of symptoms of strangulation if the hernia is not treated, as the risk of strangulation increases in children under the age of 6 months. Symptoms of strangulation include: vomiting and nausea, flatulence, and a lump of tissue that becomes swollen, red and tender to the touch.
Hernia treatment in children
The hernia may be surgically treated to avoid the risk of strangulation, which occurs because part of the intestine becomes trapped in the hernia, cutting off blood flow to it.
In the case of an umbilical hernia, the hernia may close automatically without the need for surgery, and adjusting the diet may be enough to treat the hiatal hernia.
In the end, children’s hernias are common and easily treatable without long-term health effects.