After Inguinal Hernia Repair (Pediatric)

Your child had a procedure called inguinal hernia repair. A hernia, also called a “rupture,” is a weakness or tear in the wall of the abdomen. An inguinal hernia looks like a bubble or bulge in your child’s groin area. This is from the intestine pushing against the weak spot. During your child’s surgery, the doctor made a small incision to repair and reinforce the weak spot. Below are instructions for caring for your child following the surgery.

Home Care

  • Don’t pull off the strips of tape that are used to close your child’s wound. These should come off on their own in a week or so. After 10 days, if the strips are still in place, you may remove them. If surgical glue was used, it will peel off on its own in 5 to 10 days.

  • For the first 3 days after surgery, give your child sponge baths only. After this, the child can bathe or shower normally.

  • Discuss your child's activity with your doctor before leaving the hospital. Children usually aren't supposed to lift objects over 3 pounds, climb, and do strenuous activities for several weeks after the surgery. Children can return to most other activities, such as school or day care, within a few days. Many surgeons also limit any straddling-type activities, such as riding bicycles, tricycles, or horses, after surgery. 

  • Limit restrictive or tight clothing. 

  • Let your child eat or drink normally.

  • Give your child pain medications as needed. After 2 days, the child should be in little or no pain.

  • Some swelling in the surgical area is normal during the first few days after surgery.

When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor right away if your child has any of the following:

  • Signs of infection around the incision (redness, drainage, warmth, pain)

  • Trouble urinating

  • Fever above 100.4°F (38°C) or shaking chills

  • Vomiting or nausea that doesn’t go away

  • Excessive swelling of the scrotum (in boys)

  • No bowel movement in 3 days

  • Abdominal pain that will not go away or gets worse