Inguinal hernia is a common problem in children, including small infants. The cause of inguinal hernia in children may be congenital, due to the persistence of a communication between the abdomen and external genitalia (scrotum in boys & labia majora in girls). In some cases, it may be due to muscle weakness. Inguinal Hernia results when the contents of the abdomen (intestines or omentum/fat or both) get into this communication and come out of the abdomen. Thus, a hernia is seen as a swelling in the groin or genital area in children. Although it is more common in boys, it can occur in girls also.
The only symptom of inguinal hernia is a swelling, that is typically seen when the child cries or strains. The swelling usually disappears by itself once the child is calm. There is usually no pain or any other symptom. Sometimes, the intestines may get stuck in the hernia and refuse to go inside the abdomen. This is called irreducible or incarcerated hernia; this is a serious complication, since there is a danger of damage to the intestines. In such a situation, there is a need to immediately rush to the doctor.
There is usually no need for any special tests to diagnose inguinal hernia. The typical history of intermittent painless swelling in the groin or genital area is sufficient to diagnose it. If the doctor (pediatrician or pediatric surgeon) can see the swelling in the clinic, the diagnosis is doubly confirmed. However, because of the intermittent nature of hernia, sometimes the swelling may not be seen in the clinic. In such situation, the history given by the parents can be used to confirm the diagnosis. An ultrasound examination may be done, especially in girls with inguinal hernia, to assess the status of the internal genitalia.
Once inguinal hernia is diagnosed, the treatment is surgery. The operation is called ‘herniotomy’. Typically, in the operation, the the communication between the abdomen and the groin (called the hernia sac or patent processus vaginalis) is cut off and the upper end is closed off with a suture. For this, the hernia sac has to be carefully separated from the important structures of the spermatic cord to which the sac is adherent. So, inguinal herniotomy in children is a technically important operation that should be performed by a trained pediatric surgeon.
There are 2 ways to do a herniotomy in children. The traditional open technique involves making an incision in the groin and cutting through the various layers of the abdominal wall to reach the hernia sac. In contrast, in the laparoscopic technique, the operation is performed from inside the abdomen using tiny (3-5 mm) instruments. The advantages of the laparoscopic technique are the ability to simultaneously deal with hernia on both sides (in 30-50% of children with hernia, there may be an open communication on the opposite side also). The handling of spermatic cord structures is also minimized by laparoscopy.
At Ankura children’s hospitals, we routinely perform laparoscopic hernia operations in children (including infants). Only in tiny, premature babies, open herniotomy is preferred. The hospital is equipped with the latest laparoscopic technology & fine instrumentation for use in small children. The excellent anesthesia services & post-operative care complement the surgical services. Our surgeons have a large experience with laparoscopic hernia repairs in children. Our chief surgeon, Dr VVS Chandrasekharam, is a pioneer of pediatric laparoscopic surgery in India. He has the largest experience in the country for some major pediatric laparoscopic operations.
Inguinal hernia is caused when there is a swelling in the patient’s abdomen area, usually seen as a small portion of the bowel bulging out. Inguinal hernia is usually caused due to variety of reasons. Some of them are physical strain and stress, obesity, pregnancy, constipation, etc. Inguinal hernia is caused because of the development of a weak spot in the lower belly muscles.
In males, inguinal hernia can be seen in the scrotum region. In females, it can be usually seen at the fold of skin at the opening of the vagina. Laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair surgery makes it possible for us to use the latest, state-of-the-art technology in order to provide the patient with a stress-free, painless experience.
General anesthesia is administered to the patient, and a small incision is made below the patient’s navel. In most cases, the patient is advised to go home the same day, but on a few occasions, the specialists might advice spending in the night in the hospital in case further monitoring is required or recommended. The child can start feeds a few hours after the surgery, and can resume normal activities the same day.
Laparoscopy is a modern medical miracle, that has helped millions of patients benefit from the wonders of science and nanotechnology. Also known as minimally invasive surgery, laparoscopy makes it possible for doctors to perform an operation on a part far from its location, by using very small incisions elsewhere in the body. After making the incision thin, lighted tubes are used to look for cysts, perform surgical processes and take samples from tissues.
Laparoscopy has made it possible for doctors to conduct intricate operations without having to cut open the patient’s body. Not only is this a much safer process, it also helps the patient recover quickly as there are no major cuts in the patient’s body. This also means that there are close to no scars on the patient’s body from the operation. Laparoscopy is indeed a modern medical miracle and we at Ankura Hospital for Women and Children are proud of the fact that we are one of the leading centres for laparoscopic surgical processes in Hyderabad.
In case of children, laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair surgery requires special attention and experience from doctors who have years of experience in dealing with cases pertaining to children. Which is why Ankura Hospital for Women and Children has built a steady reputation for being the leading destination for laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair surgery in Hyderabad.
Together with our nursing staff, who have been specially trained to deal with children and their moods, mood-swings and tantrums, our experienced team of doctors ensure that the experience of walking into our centres is like taking a walk in the park. Without undermining the seriousness of the case, our staff ensure that our core values of ‘Cure, Care and Compassion’ are followed in each and every step.
If your specialist has recommended laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair surgery, there is no need to panic. Laparoscopy makes it possible to treat with accuracy without any pain or scar as a result of the entire operation. Together with our state-of-the-art infrastructure, and our experienced doctors and nursing staff, Ankura Hospital for Women and Children is the most recommended destination for Laparoscopic Inguinal Hernia Repair Surgery.