Self Resolved Hernia?

My former 27 weeker Imani (born at 2 lbs 2 oz) is now 6 months actual, 3 months adjusted (16 lbs). 2 days after we came home (at 2 months actual), we discovered she had an inguinal hernia on the left side of her groin. We met with the surgeon that week, and she scheduled our surgery to be in 5 months time. Fast forward to now, and we are about a month away from surgery. But for the past couple of months, I have not seen the hernia at all. Even when she's crying and straining, I no longer see her hernia during diaper changes. Today we saw the surgeon for a recheck and to discuss surgery, and I was wondering if the surgery was still necessary. She said that inguinal hernias don't go away, and though the rish of incarceration is low, she would still like to do the surgery. I want a second opinion, but I don't know of any other Children's Hospitals in San Diego, CA.

Is it possible for a inguinal hernia to fix itself and not require surgery?

Report post

10 replies. Join the discussion

Hello, I had the same issue a few months ago. I kept freaking out that it was gone and the surgery was pointless, until our doctor said, if he didn't have a surgery and it came back down in full force he could end up VERY unwell and possibly die. I ended up deciding he needed the surgery and I was very lucky because it was still there even though I hadn't seen it for ages. And it was one of the hardest hernia surgeries the doctor had done. Jake also has one on the left side which we have never even seen, all we can see is swelling, so we are now deciding what to do with that side, seening doctor this month. Hope this helps in some way.

Report post

I had heard that only umbilical hernias can resolve on their own, that inguinal ones normally need surgery. I never researched it much, but I would trust what your children's hospital surgeon said on that matter, as they should be very informed. Inguinal hernias can be extremely dangerous, even if they are small. My son had a very large one. He was operated on at 9 months adjusted, a little older than normal, because he was on oxygen for some months after discharge, and then it was RSV season, and they wanted him to be safe for surgery, too. It was a very simple procedure, really, for him, as he recovered extraordinarily fast. He was crawling all over our house the next morning, just 24 hours later, when an adult who underwent something like that would be laid up for a week or two.

Report post

Jake was the same as Andwer by the sound of it, didn't have surgery until 12 months, he was home on oxygen and they wanted to wait until he was stronge, it was a hard year dealing with it. He was also crawling around and standing within 24 hours. It's a very simple surgery, in saying that, if you have no trust with your doctor I would be asking to see another as well :) xx

Report post

Hummm I'm caught in the middle of this one as I have a 25 weeker that had this exact hernia and it did become incarcerated and it was a TERRIBLE thing to witness as they had to milk his bowel out of his scrotum and they don't put them to sleep for this as this! It was just the saddest and thing watching him screeching in pain for over 10 minutes.... I knew he was in horrendous amounts of pain having has bowel pushed on, even if it was from the outside.... I had to hold him down and after everything that he endured in the NICU I felt like I was going to rip the doctors face off on his behalf;)

So in saying this Eli's hernia was popping out often (not causing any discomfort) and I do recall his neonatologist saying that in VERY VERY rare occasions they can self-repair.... Likely when they stay permanently in and the muscle grows and fills in?

The surgery was VERY easy with a quick and speedy recovery and Eli appeared to handle it all very well. He was 14 months actual when he had his surgery.

The question is as well.. How old is your baby? If you baby is still in infant stages likely if would h=not have been possible for the hernia to heal as of yet and you would be at risk of an incarceration.

xx Good luck with your search....

Report post

I meant to say adjusted in terms of his age...

Report post

Thanks everyone for the helpful responses! Adjusted age, she's about 3 months. We're definitely planning on doing the surgery, but in the back of my mind I was just wondering if it was really necessary. I've already come to terms with the fact that she may need it (especially after hearing from many people about how quick the recovery time is) but I guess deep down inside I still have my worries. I trust our surgeon, she was highly recommended.

Also, Imani is still slightly anemic. She had blood work done weeks ago, and her hemoglobin was on the lower end of normal (although, she did have a cold during the time when the blood was drawn, and I read that can cause a temporary dip in iron levels) but this is nothing new, she had 2 blood transfusions while in the NICU, so I know this is typical. My question is, will the surgery affect her iron levels? I should have asked her surgeon this, but we totally forgot.

Report post

I'm sorry, silly me. Eli is 14 months now and was 2 months when he had his surgery.... In terms if the surgery, lower end of anemia is pretty common with preemies. Most extremely to micro preemies are transfused at some point if their NICU journey. This surgery wouldn't have much to any blood loss, just keep your iron supplements going. This is a very small and quick surgery. Really, I'm not just saying this:) It went well and Eli was back to him self in a matter of a couple of days, it was harder on us I'm sure. Try not to worry, it's a super standard surgery they do all the time. The worse part was fasting him.

Report post

I agree with everyone and my daughter also had this surgery just 3 weeks ago. She is a little over 2 months actual. She had surgery on a Friday and recovered quickly and easily over the weekend. She had to stay one night in the hospital to be monitored because she's preemie, but the surgeon said term babies usually go home a couple hours after surgery-- that's how standard the procedure is. It is the tiniest scar in a little fat fold, and we can barely see it. Good luck!

Report post

Thank you everyone! I feel so much better about it now. I'm eager to have it over with.

Report post

My daughter had this done when she was 3 months actual, one month adjusted. Even when you don 't see them they are still there. It is nearly impossible for them to fix themselves. Like others my daughter recovered very very fast. She stayed in the hospital overnight and seemed completely normal.

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Things you can do

Discussion topics

Preemie links and resources


Narratives from the NICU -- Read the special report

Community leaders