Clinical Signs and Symptoms (Inguinal Hernia)

swel_10aEn_n.jpg: Synopsis of the clinical signs and symptoms of inguinal hernia in childhood. The leading symptom of inguinal hernia is a swelling of the groin or of the groin and scrotum, which has been observed by the parents and which may also be visible on the clinical examination. This swelling is often an instantaneous phenomenon which may be absent during the consultation due to a spontaneous reduction. In addition, the swelling may be minimal, and in girls beyond infancy the swelling of the groin is better visible in a standing position (different contours when the two sides are compared). In case of frequent and unexplained crying in infancy and of vague groin pains in older children an inguinal hernia must be excluded. Also, in case of ambiguous abdominal pain one must look for a hernia opening during diagnostic laparoscopy. An incarcerated inguinal hernia must be excluded in every case of abdominal emergency as cause, especially in the first year of life; its presentation is mostly an obstructive ileus. In case of a scrotum without a visible or palpable testis, or of abnormal external genitals (small testicle) it may be the sequel of an incarcerated inguinal hernia. swel_10b_n.jpg: This picture shows a standing toddler with a large inguinoscrotal hernia of the right side. swel_10c_n.jpg: The same patient in a supine position.