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Herniotomy and Hydrocele

A hernia is a lump or protrusion of an organ (usually the small bowel or fatty material) through a weakness or opening in the muscle wall of the abdomen.  It is usually seen as a bulge under the skin.

An inguinal hernia is a hernia that occurs in the groin region.  In boys, an inguinal hernia may extend into the scrotum.  Boys are more likely than girls to have an inguinal hernia.

A hydrocele is a collection of fluid around the testis in the scrotum.  If a boy has a hydrocele he is at an increased risk in developing an inguinal hernia.

Discharge from Hospital:

Herniotomy or hydrocele surgery is a day only procedure and therefore your child will usually be discharged the day of surgery. Premature babies will normally be kept in overnight for observation after surgery.



Once your child is fully awake after the procedure he/she will be offered clear fluids (water) and if this is tolerated he/she can then progress to a normal diet.  Infants can resume breast feeding or formula once that have tolerated water if possible.


Pain Relief:

Your child will have an anaesthetic block in the operating theatre that usually lasts for 8 hours.  After this Paracetamol or Nurofen are the drugs of choice or a combination of both.  The Nurse and or Anaesthetist will advise you of the dose on discharge.  For older children Painstop may be used and the Anaesthetist will advise you on the day of surgery. 

Note:  Do not use Aspirin as the this may promote bleeding.

Wound Care:

The wound is closed with dissolving sutures, which are completely hidden under the wound.  The wound will be covered with Steri-strips and a clear waterproof dressing.  This will come off by itself in two to three weeks.  If it hasn’t fallen off in this time and the dressing is annoying you can loosen it gently with some Baby Oil. 

The wound will harden in the first few weeks as it heals.   The may be some bruising and local swelling.  There also may be some swelling and bruising of the genitals.  Sometimes the swelling may look as though the hernia or hydrocele has recurred but this is normal.

Showering may commence 24 hours after surgery but soaking in the bath should be avoided for 4 days.  Dry the wound gently but well.



Vomiting post anaesthetic may occur, although this is rare and it is best to give nothing for an hour and then only offer water in small amounts under the vomiting/nausea have stopped.


You should contact Doctor’s rooms if the following occurs:

  • Your child develops a fever over 38 degrees

  • Pain is not relieved by the recommended dose of Panadol or Nurofen

  • Your child’s wound is hot, red and angry looking or if it is gaping, discharging or bleeding


Back to School:

Keep your child home for 2 to 3 days.  If your child has no discomfort then school can be commenced 3 days after surgery.  Swimming can commence 10 days after surgery.  Contact sport e.g. football, should be avoided for 2 weeks.


Follow-up Appointment:

Please call the Doctor’s rooms as soon as possible after surgery to make an appointment four weeks after surgery or sooner if you have any concerns.


Should a medical certificate be required please contact the practice and one can be provided.

Disclaimer:  This web site is not intended as a substitute for your own independent health professional’s advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider within your country or place of residency with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition

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