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My three-month-old baby has developed an inguinal hernia, and I have been advised that he needs and operation. Will not a truss be adequate?

Doctor’s Advice:

The management of hernias is the groin or inguinal area is somewhat different now from that of a generation ago. With the advances in operations on children, we are not so worried about the outcome of surgery.

The younger the child, the more likely the hernia to become trapped in the canal and become strangulated. What has been said about hernias in boys is equally true of hernia in girls.

Inguinal hernia may occasionally disappear without surgery, but spontaneous recovery is the exception rather than the rule, even though a truss or other support is worn. Because this fact is particularly true in children more than a year old, there seems to be little merit in putting off surgery in the hope that the abnormality will clear itself.

A hernia, or rupture, of the navel is different. If the opening is small, many navel hernias will disappear by the time a child is two years old. These hernias are more commonly seen in babies that were small at birth, and even though they are present they seldom incarcerate or become strangulated.



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