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Hernia Repair: What to Expect


Prior to Surgery

  • Talk to your doctor about your child’s medications/vitamins/herbs. Some may need to be discontinued a week prior to surgery.
  • Discuss any possible bleeding disorders or other medical conditions that could impact surgery or anesthesia.
  • Do not give your child anything to eat or drink after midnight the night before the surgery.
  • Blood samples are taken in case your child needs a blood transfusion.

Day of the Surgery

  • Do not allow your child to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the surgery.
  • Only give your child medications that the surgeon has recommended with a small sip of water.
  • You will receive a call from the hospital about arrival time.

After Surgery

  • Hernia repair surgery normally only requires a 23-hour stay or less. Most patients go home the same day.
  • There will be soreness around the surgical site during the first 24 to 48 hours following surgery.
  • Walking is encouraged, based on your child’s energy level.
  • This surgery has a quick recovery with most patients feeling much better within the first few days after surgery.
  • Hiatal hernia repair patients may eat a modified liquid diet after surgery and will graduate to solid foods over time.

Recovery: What to Expect in the Next Few Weeks

Most children will fully recover in one to two weeks and can resume some normal activities.

Alternative Names

Hernia repair; inguinal hernia surgery; groin hernia surgery

Question & Answer

Below, find answers to commonly asked questions. Click each item to expand the Q&A for each section.

The Procedure

Q: What does the procedure involve?

The surgeons makes a few small incisions and runs a tube with a tiny camera on the end to the surgery site. This gives clear visualization of the surgical field and allows him to reinforce and repair the hernia site. The surgery is typically performed with the child receiving general anesthesia.


Q: How many incisions are made?

Three to four tiny incisions are made around the site of the hernia.

Hospital Stay

Q: How long will my child stay in the hospital?

In most cases, patients are discharged the same day or only stay overnight in the hospital.

Recovery Time

Q: What is the recovery time?

Most patients are fully recovered within one week but should get advice from the surgeon as to when it is safe to lift, push or pull heavier objects.

Risk of Waiting

Q: What is the best age for performing pectus corrective surgery?

While many hernias do not cause severe pain or discomfort, they can worsen over time or become inflamed, infected or trapped. When this happens, emergency surgery is required. Talk with your surgeon about when surgery is advised for your child. Often, there are non-invasive techniques that can be performed before surgery is considered.