After Your Child's Inguinal Hernia Repair

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 surgeon made a small incision to repair and reinforce the weak spot. Below are instructions for caring for your child after the surgery.

Home care

  • Keep in mind that some swelling in the area of treatment is normal during the first few days after surgery.

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

  • Let your child eat or drink as usual.

  • Have your child wear loose, comfortable clothing instead of tight clothing. 

  • 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. If the strips are still in place after 10 days, 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, your child can bathe or shower as usual.

  • Discuss your child's activity with the healthcare provider. Don’t let your child lift objects over 3 pounds, climb, or do strenuous activities for several weeks. Your child can likely return to other activities, such as school or day care, in a few days. You should also limit your child’s activities that involve straddling, such as bike riding or horseback riding. 

When to call the healthcare provider 

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

  • Signs of infection in the incision such as redness, fluid, warmth, pain

  • Trouble urinating

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Vomiting or nausea that doesn’t stop

  • In a boy, swelling of the scrotum that gets worse

  • No bowel movement in 3 days

  • Belly (abdominal) pain that doesn’t get better, or gets worse