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Hernia In Babies - What are Causes, Symptoms and Cure?


Hernia In Babies - Types, Causes, Symptoms, Complications, Cure, and Treatment

A hernia is a type of soft lump or bulge under the skin that can vary in size and usually occurs in the inguinal or abdominal area. When a loop of intestines pushes through a weakness in the abdominal muscles hernia occurs. You might be surprised to know that about 5 out of 100 children are born with a hernia.



Causes, symptoms and treatment of Hernia in babies









Types of Hernia

In babies, a hernia occurs in one of these two places:

  • The umbilical hernia that appears around the navel.
  • An inguinal hernia happens in the groin area or scrotum.


Inguinal Hernia

An inguinal hernia happens in the groin area and with boys, swelling in the scrotum. But it doesn't mean that girls don't get a hernia. Although girls don't have testicles, they have an inguinal canal so they can get hernias too.



Causes of Hernia in Babies

The babies can develop a hernia in the first few months of their life. Hernia cause due to the weakness in belly muscles. An umbilical hernia and inguinal hernia occurs due to slightly different reasons. 


Causes of Umbilical Hernia in Babies

During pregnancy, the umbilical cord is connected to the baby's abdominal muscles through a hole. This opening usually closes after birth but in some cases, these abdominal muscles don't fully close and a small opening is left. That is called Umbilical Hernia.



Causes of Inguinal Hernia in Babies

During pregnancy, all babies have an inguinal canal that goes from the abdomen to the genitals. A baby's inguinal canal closes shortly before or after birth but in some cases, it doesn't fully close. This causes an inguinal hernia. It can cause due to the weakness in abdominal muscles.




Which babies are at risk of developing Hernia?

A hernia mostly happens in those babies who've one or more of the following risk factors:

  • Babies who born early
  • Premature Infants
  • Having cystic fibrosis
  • Family history of hernias
  • Problems with urinary or reproductive organs
  • Undescended Testicles

Symptoms of Hernia in babies

The symptoms of hernia in babies are:

Having a bulge or swelling in the groin area or scrotum is Inguinal Hernia whereas having a bulge or swelling in the belly button area is an umbilical hernia. Both of these hernias are visible when your baby cries, coughs, or strain during a bowel movement. When your baby relaxes it may go away or get smaller. If your baby's health care provider pushes gently on this bulge when your baby is calm and lying down then this may get smaller or go back into the belly. 

But in some cases, this bulge can't be pushed back into the belly. When this happens it can cause the following symptoms:

  • A full and round belly
  • Belly Pain
  • Soreness
  • Vomiting
  • Fussiness
  • Red color near the hernia
  • Discoloration near the hernia
  • Fever

Diagnosis of Hernia in Babies

Your baby's health care provider will do a physical exam for the diagnosis of hernia in the baby. He'll see if the hernia can be gently pushed into the belly. 
  • If the hernia is easily pushed into the belly it is known as a reducible hernia
  • If the hernia can't be pushed back to the belly then he may order an ultrasound or abdominal X-ray to look at the intestines more closely.




Treatment of Hernia in babies

The treatment of hernia generally depends on the baby's age, health, and how severe the condition is.


Treatment of Inguinal Hernia in Babies

An inguinal hernia is treated by surgery. During this procedure, the baby will be given anesthesia and a small cut or incision is made in the area of the hernia. Then the intestine loop is put back into the abdomen. After that muscles are stitched together. Babies can often go home the same day after having surgery for an inguinal hernia.


Treatment of Umbilical Hernia in Babies

In many cases, umbilical hernia closes on its own by the time a baby is 1 year old. Most of the umbilical hernias close by the time the baby is 5 years old and surgery is not required. But in some cases, the baby's health care provider can suggest surgery if umbilical hernia:

  • Gets bigger with age
  • Can't be pushed back into the abdomen
  • It is still there by the time the baby is 3 years old.

During the surgery of umbilical hernia, the baby will be given anesthesia and a small cut or incision is made in the belly button. Then the intestine loop is put back into the abdomen. After that muscles are stitched together. Babies can often go home the same day after having surgery for an umbilical hernia.




Complications of Hernia in Babies

A hernia can get stuck and blood supply may be blocked to the part of the intestine.

Consult your child's health care provider to know more about the same and tell your concerns. 



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Disclaimer: This content is intended for general information only and it should not be used as the basis of patient treatment. The given content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, treatment, or any diagnosis. Always consult a doctor for more information. Our website doesn't claim responsibility for this information.

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