types of pediatric hernia

What are the other types of pediatric hernia? An overview

The hernia is the most common medical condition in children. Pediatric hernias refer to the condition in which the internal parts of the body strain against the abdominal wall. As a result, the weak abdominal wall muscles or fascia give way to the bulging of a lump due to the strain. Often, the inguinal ring fails to close properly in some children allowing the abdominal contents to come into the groin area. Therefore, hernias are more common in children born prematurely. In boys, this abdominal content is mostly a portion of the bowel. At the same time, it may be the ovaries or bowel in females. There are many types of pediatric hernia, in this article we will hanve an overview.

Consequently, hernias appear as a bulge in the area between the chest and hips, depending upon their type. According to the research studies, hernias occur in premature babies with an incidence rate of 2% in females and 7-30% in males. Notably, the most prevailing type of hernias is the inguinal hernia, and umbilical hernia.

Why are men at a bigger risk of hernia?

The considerable prevalence differences for types of pediatric hernia among females and males are mainly due to the differences in reproductive anatomy of both the genders. During the developmental stages of the fetus in males, the testicles descend through the inguinal canal from the abdomen. Typically, the canal closes after the descent of testicles, which keeps them from going back up. Therefore, if the wall does not seal correctly or a weak spot is left, it will likely develop into hernias. On the other hand, female bodies are far less likely to fall prey to the condition because of the stronger ligaments holding their uteruses. Consequently, these ligaments provide extra support to the abdominal wall.

Types of hernias

For the best childcare, you must get well-acquainted with all the forms of hernias for timely treatment. Hence, we shall have a detailed overview of the other types of hernia for a better understanding and all that you must know to get to the best pediatric surgeon.

Inguinal hernias

It refers to a condition in which bowel or fatty tissue bulges via the groin area near the top of your thighs. This type of hernia mostly occurs in males. It may appear during the month right after the baby's birth in children. Principally, crying and straining have nothing to do with inguinal hernia. Inguinal hernia further classifies into the following;
  • Direct inguinal hernia
  • Indirect inguinal hernia
The condition does not improve on its own, and requires proper treatment such as inguinal hernia surgery. Hence, getting to the best pediatric surgeon for inguinal Hernia Surgery at the earliest is the ultimate solution to treating pediatric hernias. In addition, inguinal hernia surgery is indispensable if your child has incarcerated hernia, a red, hard, painful lump. Further, if the child has no will to eat, no stools, and vomits, it indicates an emergency for the treatment.

Umbilical hernia

This is the most prevalent in infants and children of the other types of hernias. However, good childcare, proper diagnosis, and the best pediatric surgeon are all that one would need to resolve the issue. It refers to the formation of a bulge at the base of the umbilicus. Typically, the intra-abdominal organs poke an opening near the belly button. Notably, every baby is born with this tiny opening that closes over time in normal conditions.

Hiatal hernia

To date, the underlying cause of hiatal hernias has not been discovered. However, the children suffering from the condition are just born with it. Further, such types of pediatric hernia refer to a portion of your stomach to protrudes through a small opening in/her diaphragm, called a hiatus. This portion of the stomach may be trapped above the diaphragm, or it may move up and down. Hiatal hernia is further classified into four sub-categories depending upon the formation of the bulge, such:
  • Sliding hiatal hernia
  • Paraesophageal hiatal hernia
  • Combined
  • Complex paraesophageal hiatal hernia

Ventral hernia 

The congenital ventral hernias are also known as the epigastric hernias. The main cause of the condition is the failure of breastbone approximation during the development of the abdominal wall in a child. Such hernias are due to a tiny opening in the abdominal wall muscles. Epigastric hernia indicates the fatty lumps or bulges between the belly button and breast bone. However, they are small in size. The prevalence of ventral pediatric hernias is reported to be around 5%. If you don't get to the best pediatric surgeon for hernia surgery in time, it may be diagnosed as an umbilical hernia and mistreated.

Incisional hernias

As the title indicates, this type of hernia occurs after abdominal surgery. Incisional hernias refer to the protrusion of the intestine through the abdominal wall around the surgical incision. You would need the best pediatric surgeon for the child suffering from the incisional hernias for another surgery to treat the procedure.

Hernia symptoms 

Hernias may be asymptomatic such as hiatal hernias. However, hernias are spotted with a noticeable lump that disappears upon lying. Further, laughing, crying, straining during the bowel movement, coughing, or physical activity causes the lump to reappear. Symptoms for pediatric hernias include the following.
  • Bulge or swelling near the groin or scrotum
  • Increasing pain in the site of the bulge
  • Pain while lifting weight
  • Increasing pain on the site of the bulge
  • Aching sensation
  • Signs of bowel obstruction or feeling full
Further, the symptoms may include the following;
  • Heartburn
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Indigestion
  • Chest pain
  • Frequent regurgitation

Treatment for hernias

Primarily, the hernias do not improve on their own. Therefore, mostly the only viable solution to hernias is surgery. After a careful diagnosis, your doctor will most likely refer you to the best pediatric surgeon. In the case of inguinal hernia, it is suggested that you must find the best pediatric surgeon for inguinal hernia surgery as the priority to avoid further complications. In the case of the umbilical hernia, the doctor may observe if the bulge gets in its right place as the child grows. However, if the hernia is large enough or fails to heal until 4 to 5 years of age, the surgery for an inguinal hernia is vital. The experts prefer to perform the surgery at this age because the child is stable enough to avoid the consequent surgical complications. Similarly, surgery is the first option if the patient is an adult because it will not resolve on its own. There are the following types of surgical treatments available for pediatric hernias treatment.
  • Open surgery (Open Herniorraphgy)
  • Keyhole or Laparoscopic surgery (Laparoscopic Herniorrhaphy)
Indeed, laparoscopy is the best approach for inguinal hernia surgery, being the least invasive and short in the procedure.

What if the hernia is left untreated?

Other than an umbilical hernia, one may not expect the hernias to go away on their own. Over time, the hernias only grow bigger, get painful, and pose more complications such as;
  • Incarceration or obstruction
  • Strangulation
Most the children recover from the pediatric hernias surgery within 1 or 2 days after the surgery. They can walk and play with the toys. However, it takes about 1 to 2 weeks for the incision to heal properly. Lastly, the incision would leave a scar that may fade away as your child grows.

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