May also be called: Groin Hernia
A hernia is an opening or weakness in the wall of a muscle, tissue, or membrane that normally holds an organ in place. If the opening or weakness is large enough, a portion of the organ may be able to protrude through the hole.
With an inguinal hernia, the opening is found in the groin area, at a part of the abdominal wall called the inguinal canal.
In boys, the inguinal canal is a passageway between the abdomen and the scrotum through which a cord called the spermatic cord passes. In girls, the inguinal canal is the passageway for a ligament that holds the uterus in place. With an inguinal hernia, instead of closing tightly, the canal leaves a space for the intestines to slide into. This can cause swelling and pain, especially while coughing, bending over, or lifting heavy objects.
Inguinal hernias require surgery to repair and are one of the most common type of surgery performed on kids and teens. If left untreated, they can cause severe pain and damage to the intestine. In less common cases, if blood flow to the intestine gets cut off, inguinal hernias can become life threatening and require immediate medical attention.
Inguinal hernias need to be evaluated and treated so a doctor should be notified about any pain or swelling in the groin.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
|American College of Surgeons The website of the American College of Surgeons provides consumer information about common surgeries such as appendectomy.|
|Hernia Resource Center This site has information about hernias and hernia repair surgery.|
|Male Reproductive System The male reproductive system is essential to the perpetuation of life. Understanding it, what it does, and problems that can affect it can help you better understand your son's reproductive health.|
|Female Reproductive System Without the female reproductive system, there would be no perpetuation of life. Understanding it, what it does, and the problems that can affect it may help you better understand your own daughter's reproductive health.|
|A to Z: Scrotal Pain, Acute A variety of things can cause pain in the scrotum (also called scrotal pain), the pouch-like structure at the base of a boy's penis.|
|Hernias A hernia is an opening or weakness in the wall of a muscle, tissue, or membrane that normally holds an organ in place. Learning to prevent hernias isn't hard to do - check out these tips.|
|Hernias Hernias are fairly common in kids and hernia repair is the one of the most common surgeries performed on children.|
|A to Z: Hernia, Umbilical Learn about hernias and conditions that affect the abdomen and bellybutton.|
|A to Z: Hernia, Epigastric Learn about hernias and conditions that affect the abdomen and abdominal muscles.|
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