Groroin in problems in children are common. You may have often wonder what has to be done for this. As a parent best you can give to your child is to take them to a paediatric surgeon as soon as you come to know about this. Groin swelling which are commonly found in children are hernia, hydrocele and undescended testes. Some rare emergency problem could be a twist in testes.
All these will need surgical management. Surgery for hernia, hydrocele or undescended testes can be scheduled conveniently as per parent.
Hernia and hydrocele are most common surgical issues in children. With prematurity both these are seen more often these days.
As parent you don’t have to worry about these. These can be fixed easily with surgery as a day care or one day admission. Hernia and hydrocele repair are not like in adults, they are simpler and with very few complications. Inguinal hernia is an opening in belly wall near groin, intestine and other tissue can poke through it causing bulge.
Where as hydrocele is collection of fluid around the testes. Hernia should be operated earliest after diagnosis while hydrocele can wait till age of two years.
Again you can discuss with your paediatric surgeon when to operate. These days hernia repair can be done laparoscopically also.
You can talk to your doctor about it. As anaesthetic techniques in children have become safe the results are good. This applies to even tiny premature babies. Surgery generally takes 30 min to 1 hour. Recovery is also fast in kids. Majority of children can go home same day in the evening or next day morning. It is not recommended to wait longer to do surgery particularly in hernia as sometimes intestine may get obstructed compromising blood supply or swelling may not go away needing an emergency operation.
Sometimes testes may not be present where they are supposed to be at birth. One can wait till age of 6-9 months, if they are not seen by that time then surgery should be done. Your doctor may want to do it by simple open technique or laparoscopically depending upon where the testes are.
If surgery is not done in time then testes may get twisted or can get permanently damaged. One of worrisome problem in testes that can happen is twist or torsion which commonly happens during early teen age.
Child will have sudden swelling in testicular region with redness and tremendous pain. Rush him to nearest paediatric surgeon. This has to be operated immediately else one may lose that testes permanently.
Consultant Pediatric Diabetes and Endocrinology, Rainbow Children's Hospital, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad MBBS,MD(Peadiatrics)