A her­nia is the pro­tru­sion of a por­tion of the intes­tine through the wall of the abdomen. An inguinal her­nia is the most com­mon and occurs most fre­quent­ly in boys. If you notice a lump in the groin or scro­tum that comes and goes when the child strains or cries, call the office.

The her­nia will need to be sur­gi­cal­ly cor­rect­ed. It is not a med­ical emer­gency unless the her­nia becomes stran­gu­lat­ed (if it becomes caught out­side the abdom­i­nal cav­i­ty). If this hap­pens, your child will be in pain and may vom­it. In this case, call the office imme­di­ate­ly for an appointment.

In very small infants, an umbil­i­cal (“bel­ly but­ton”) her­nia is not uncom­mon and usu­al­ly dis­ap­pears as the infant gets old­er. It is not painful, and usu­al­ly the only symp­tom is a small lump at the naval that becomes larg­er when the child cries.