By Becky John
Dr Kunle Otuneye, a Paediatrician with the National Hospital, Abuja, on Friday advised mothers to consult their doctors when they observe abnormal swelling around the scrotum of their male children. Otuneye told the News men in Abuja that the abnormal swelling could be identified as hernia when diagnosed by a doctor. According to him, hernia, which is common in male children, is usually an abnormal opening in the body cavity where the internal organs passes through.
“The common type of hernia in children is the inguinal and umbilical hernia, inguinal occurs when tissue pushes through a weak spot in the groin muscle.
“Most inguinal hernias happen because an opening in the muscle wall does not close before birth as it should.
“The umbilical involve protrusion of intra-abdominal contents through a weakness at the site of passage of the umbilical cord through the abdominal wall,’’ Otuneye said.
He said there are different kinds of hernia, each requiring a specific management or treatment.
Otuneye said symptoms and signs vary depending on the type of hernia; symptoms may or may not be present in some inguinal hernias.
He said in complicated ones, there are signs of vomiting and severe pains around the groin area.
“When hernia is complicated, it requires urgent attention of the doctor and emergency surgery will be required to avoid future occurrence.
“Umbilical hernia in children closes up by the time the child is two years of age, rarely will it extend to four to five years unless if there are complications,’’ said the expert.
Otuneye said hernia was common with adults, and that farmers and weight lifters were more disposed to it, due to severe strain and weakness in the abdominal wall.
He said that surgery was mostly required for complicated hernia, adding that if not promptly done could lead to death. Otuneye said prevention was better than cure, adding “it is better to prevent the complication from occurring rather than emergency situation”.