Your child has been admitted for an operation to treat an inguinal hernia. This type of hernia is a bulge through the muscles in the groin. Sometimes this appears just in the groin but in some boys, it can be large enough to enter the scrotum. Inguinal hernias can be uncomfortable and if they are not fixed there is a risk of incarceration (the hernia getting stuck) and strangulation (the blood supply being cut off). Strangulation would need an emergency repair and this can involve the removal of tissue, including bowel.

The operation

Your child will have a general anaesthetic meaning that they will be asleep during the operation. They will also receive local anaesthetic which will help to reduce any discomfort after the surgery.

The hernia is treated by separating the hernia sac from the surrounding structures and removing it. The surgery is performed through a small cut in the groin which is closed using dissolvable stitches.

Although the operation is commonly performed and is usually very straightforward, any surgical procedure does carry some risks. Hernia repair in children can be complicated by bleeding, infection, recurrence of the hernia and (very rarely) damage to the blood supply to the testicle or to the vas deferens (the sperm tube) in boys.

After the operation

Your child will remain in the theatre recovery area for a period of time. You will be able to join him/her there and then accompany them back to the ward.

When your child has recovered from the anaesthetic, he/she will be able to have a drink and a biscuit.

Once they are comfortable, they will be allowed home.

After discharge

Your child may have some bruising and swelling from the operation but this should settle within a few days. Your child can shower only for the first 2 to 3 days following the operation.

You will be advised about school and physical activity before discharge.

Simple pain relief including paracetamol and ibuprofen can be used until the discomfort has settled. Please follow the instructions on the packet.

You may be contacted by a member of the ward team to check that your child has had no problems following the operation.

If you have any concerns, please contact either the Paediatric Assessment Unit for overnight issues immediately after discharge, or the Paediatric Day Unit the next day.

After the first 24 hours following the operation the child’s GP should be contacted for advice.

You will be informed whether a hospital follow up is needed.

Contact information

Paediatric Assessment Unit

Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

Tel 0300 422 8305

Paediatric Day Unit

Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

Tel: 0300 422 8452

Tel: 0300 422 8453

Monday to Friday, 7:00am to 7:30pm

Further information

For further information please visit our website:

If you would like to watch a video with your child regarding admission to the children’s unit, please visit the following link:

Printable version of this page

Inguinal hernia GHPI0983_08_22 Department: Paediatrics Review due: August 2025 PDF, 145.8 KB, 3 pages
Reference number GHPI0983_08_22
Department Paediatrics
Review due August 2025