Skip to main content

Welcome to the Circle Health Group website. We've changed our name from BMI Healthcare. Just as before, we have thousands of specialists offering expert healthcare. Click here to find a specialist or a hospital near you.

Inguinal hernia repair (child)

Prevent the serious complications that a hernia can cause and allow your child to return to normal activities

An inguinal hernia is where the contents of the abdomen push down towards the scrotum in boys, or labia (folds of skin at the entrance of the vagina) in girls.

If your child has an inguinal hernia, hernia repair surgery can fix it.

Inguinal hernias can be repaired using keyhole surgery, but most inguinal hernias in children are repaired through a cut on the groin.

The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually takes about an hour.

Your surgeon will make a cut on the groin and find the ‘hernial sac.’

In boys, the sac is stuck on to the blood vessels that supply the testicle. It is also stuck on to the vas, the tube that will carry sperm away from the testicle.

In girls, the hernia can contain an ovary or part of the fallopian tube. Your surgeon will put back the contents of the sac into the abdominal cavity and peel the sac away before tying it off.

Your child should no longer have the hernia.

Surgery should prevent your child from having any of the serious complications that a hernia can cause and allow them to return to normal activities.

Are there any alternatives to inguinal hernia repair surgery?

Unfortunately, a hernia will not get better without surgery.

Like all surgical procedures, there are some levels of risks to consider. Some of these can be serious and can even cause death. However, you can speak to your doctor about the following general and specific complications that may worry you.

General complications of any operation

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Unsightly scarring of the skin
  • Inflammation
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)

Specific complications of this operation

  • Developing a collection of blood or fluid under the wound
  • Developing a hydrocele, which is a swelling around the testicle
  • Injury to structures within the hernia that come from the abdomen
  • Damage to nerves that supply the skin around the groin
  • Damage to the blood supply to the testicle
  • The testicle may come to lie higher in the scrotum
  • Damage to the vas

They should be able to go home the same day or the day after.

Your doctor will tell you when your child can return to school.

This is usually after 5 to 7 days. Most children make a full recovery and can return to normal activities.

An inguinal hernia is a common condition. If left untreated, an inguinal hernia can cause serious complications.

Book an appointment online today, or find out more by calling us on 0808 101 0337.


  • Authors: Mr Shailinder Singh DM FRCS (Paed. Surg.), Mr Jonathan Sutcliffe FRCS
  • Illustrator: Medical Illustration Copyright ©

Specialists offering Inguinal hernia repair (child)

View all specialists

Mr Ashish Desai

Consultant Paediatric Surgeon

FRCS (Paeds), Fellow of European Board of Paediatric Surgeons, MCh

The Blackheath Hospital 1 more Chelsfield Park Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr Stuart O'Toole

Consultant Paediatric Surgeon & Urologist


Ross Hall Hospital 1 more Ross Hall Clinic Braehead

View profile Book online

Mr Atul Sabharwal

Consultant Paediatric & Neonatal Surgeon

MB ChB, ChM, FRCS (Glas), FRCS (Paed Surg)

Ross Hall Hospital 1 more Ross Hall Clinic Braehead

View profile Book online

Mr Peter McDonald

Consultant General Surgeon


The Clementine Churchill Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr Rajesh Kavia

Consultant Urological Surgeon

BSc(Hons), MBBS (Distinction), FRCSEd(Urol), FRCSEng

Bishops Wood Hospital 2 more The Clementine Churchill Hospital Syon Clinic

View profile Book online

Mr George Fowlis

Consultant Urologist

Bs, MB BCh BAO BSc (Yale), Md, FRCS (Urol), FEBU

Bishops Wood Hospital 3 more The Clementine Churchill Hospital The Kings Oak Hospital Syon Clinic

View profile Book online

Find a specialist