Most Common Types of Hernias in Children


When the connective tissue that keeps your intestines in place develops a hole or rip, the result is a hernia. The organs it ordinarily protects can protrude through, creating agony and the risk of being trapped. Understanding the signs and causes of a hernia is crucial because of the seriousness of the condition. Many common types of hernias occur in children. However, the timely diagnosis and the proper treatment approach can reduce the damage.

Alarming signs of hernias in adults and children

Over thousands of hernia repairs are done annually, demonstrating the prevalence of this condition. Inguinal hernias are the most frequent form; more than 75% of all cases occur in males.

While most of our statistics focus on adults, hernias may develop at any age. It is possible that an umbilical hernia may heal on its own in the first few years of a child’s life, but if one persists beyond the age of five, it will need surgery.

The vast majority of persons who end up with a hernia have always had a tendency for hernias. Hernias may also develop for various reasons, such as:

  • Obesity
  • Carrying a heavy load
  • Constipation
  • Chronic coughing during pregnancy

A tiny protrusion in the lower belly and a sense of increased pressure are early indicators of a hernia. Nausea and discomfort are other possible side effects. Putting pressure on a hernia, such as during exercise or a bowel movement, can bring the condition into sharper focus. 

Different types of hernias

Hernias come in a wide variety of forms. One kind mainly affects youngsters, while others disproportionately impact males or women. The most typical forms of hernias are the inguinal and umbilical hernias.

Umbilical hernias

It’s a hernia that develops just below the belly button. Although anybody may get one of these, infants under six months are particularly vulnerable. A bulge around the belly button may be noticeable to parents.

The good news is that this is common among the types of hernias, and it usually goes away by the time the infant turns one. However, surgery will be required to repair the hernia if the bulge disappears.

A tiny opening forms in the baby’s abdominal muscles, allowing the umbilical cord to exit. After birth, the hole often seals shut. Umbilical hernias may occur at birth or later in life if the abdominal wall muscles don’t fuse entirely along their midline.

Umbilical hernias in adults are caused by extreme abdominal pressure brought on by factors including obesity, fluid buildup in the abdominal cavity, pregnancy, prior abdominal operations, etc.

Inguinal hernia

Inguinal hernias are the other kind of hernia and primarily afflict males. However, women are not immune to them. The inguinal canal is the area where they manifest.

The spermatic cord is located in the male reproductive system’s inguinal canal, which runs from the abdomen to the scrotum. The female inguinal canal supports the uterus.

An inguinal hernia may cause discomfort, swelling, and a noticeable protrusion in the groin area. This kind of hernia can only be fixed by surgical intervention.

Ventral hernia

In contrast to an umbilical hernia, a ventral or epigastric hernia may develop anywhere along the front abdominal wall except for the umbilicus. The symptoms of this kind of hernia and the therapy for it are almost identical to those of an umbilical hernia.

A ventral hernia may produce stomach discomfort and swelling, nausea, and vomiting, or it may cause no symptoms. This kind of hernia can only be fixed by surgical intervention. It may spread and cause significant problems if not handled.

Incisional hernias

Some persons, after undergoing abdominal surgery, develop muscular weakness. Incisional hernias occur when the intestines protrude through the abdominal wall around the site of an abdominal incision. This kind of hernia can only be fixed by laparoscopic hernia repair.

Hiatal hernia

A hiatal hernia develops around the point where the esophagus passes into the diaphragm. There is now a space available. Hiatus hernias occur when the stomach protrudes through the opening in the chest. Acid reflux and gastrointestinal distress are symptoms.

People over 50 and pregnant women are more likely to get this kind of hernia. Hiatal hernia treatment options range from dietary and behavioral adjustments to medication and, in severe cases, surgery.

How can you diagnose hernias?

No matter how obvious the symptoms seem, receiving a thorough checkup and diagnosis from an expert is critical. A paediatric hernia expert can best examine various types of hernias and signs of the condition.

Symptoms such as protrusion of the belly when weeping, coughing, or straining are the only ways a doctor may diagnose a hernia in a kid.

Can you prevent hernias?

Additional tissues might press through when supporting tissue weakens and cause a hernia. Although you can’t always avoid the stresses that lead to structural weakness, there are things you can do to reduce the probability of experiencing an issue. Hernias may be caused by a variety of reasons.

  • Extra weight
  • Birth Control Pregnancy, Especially With More Than One
  • Long-term inability to poop
  • Tasks or pastimes requiring prolonged standing, bending over, or moving large objects
  • Smoking

However, you can prevent hernias with reasonable weight control, a high-fiber diet, and safe lifting practices.

Laparoscopic hernia surgery to treat different types of hernias

Minimally invasive surgical techniques usually fix inguinal hernias. The technique targets the area of weakness surrounding the muscle wall’s opening and repairs it. Laparoscopic hernia surgery is the surgical method for treating hernias. However, it depends on a variety of criteria.

As an inguinal hernia patient, some patients wait for their symptoms to resolve independently. Still, doctors often advise against this and instead prescribe surgery to provide immediate relief and prevent strangulation from occurring due to the hernia.

Infants and young children are at higher risk for developing an umbilical hernia. As a result, most instances resolve themselves without requiring invasive procedures. But if it doesn’t go away on its own, surgery is the only option.

Final Thoughts – Hernia Surgery is Common and Safe.

The fact that hernia treatments are common and usually safe is perhaps the best news of all. That’s partly because you can treat many hernias laparoscopically by using non-surgical techniques.

When repairing a complicated hernia, a pediatric surgeon typically only has to make tiny incisions and use specialised devices and a tiny camera.

Tissue that has shifted during your hernia surgery may be put back into place. A surgeon closes the damaged tissue and reinforces it if necessary. Minimally invasive hernia repairs provide shorter recovery periods, lower risk of complications, and minor scarring.