How does a baby get a hernia?

In boys, the testicles develop near the kidneys; they travel down to the scrotum during the end of gestation. The "pathway" they leave behind them is called the processus vaginalis; its equivalent exists in girls, with the end of the pathway being the labia. This pathway normally closes by the time of birth. If it remains open, then the contents of the abdomen may potentially also travel down through it. If abdominal fluid passes down to the scrotum, this is called a hydrocele or a communicating hydrocele; if an ovary (in a girl) or intestines are involved, this is termed a hernia.

Continue Learning about Hernia


There are several kinds of hernias, but the all happen when pressure pushes an organ (often the intestine) through a weak spot in a muscle face or wall. Different kinds of hernias have different risk factors. 4/5 of all hernias ar...

e inguinal hernias, where the intestine (or occasionally the bladder) pushes through the lower abdominal wall-near or into the groin. Most of these occur in men, although they are also common in newborns because the abdominal walls in babies are weak. Treatment for hernias can be no treatment, to medicines to surgery. Many hernias are not serious, although larger ones certainly can be, and complications can include an obstruction of the digestive tract. Modern surgical methods to treat hernias are much improved over older techniques and recovery times are much shorter.

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