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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes swelling below abdomen in a 4 year old?

Answered by
Dr. Pradeep Kumar

Pediatrician, Cardiology

Practicing since :2006

Answered : 1907 Questions

Posted on Thu, 10 Sep 2015 in Child Health
Question: My daughter who is 4 years old, she had swelling below abdomen. When I met pediatrician he suggested me to meet Pediatric Surgeon as this my be Inguinal Hernia.
I wanted to check if surgery is only available for Inguinal Hernia

Answered by Dr. Pradeep Kumar 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Surgery is the only available treatment for pediatric inguinal hernia

Detailed Answer:

I understand your concern.
Inguinal hernia is the most common pediatric surgical problem and it is the most common surgery performed in children.
First you have to get the diagnosis confirmed.Although clinical examination is sufficient for diagnosis,sometimes ultrasound may be needed.

Bulge in lower abdomen is most commonly due to hernia.In children hernia is usually congenital(since birth).
I have few queries
1)Is the swelling present since birth or you have noticed it recently?
2)Is it progressively enlarging?
3)Is the swelling more prominent during crying or cough and subsides/decreases during sleep?

If the diagnosis is confirmed then surgery is the only treatment modality. As the cause of inguinal hernia is due to defect since birth it does not heal itself and must be repaired surgically(laproscopic or open surgery) to prevent complication such as incarceration(trapping of gut).

So I would suggest you to get her evaluated by a pediatric surgeon for diagnosis and management accordingly.
Please let me know if you have any more doubts.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Pradeep Kumar 5 hours later
Please find answer for your question.
1. We have noticed recently.
2. it's not progressively enlarging.
3. Swelling is little prominent during crying or cough, actually it is so small that it cannot be seen normally, only if she gets cold in night then it is visible in morning for some time.

To be XXXXXXX she is so young that I don't want to do the surgery or avoid it if this can be treated otherwise.

Answered by Dr. Pradeep Kumar 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Get it evaluated by a pediatric surgeon

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for follow up

Sometimes swelling due to inguinal hernia may be noticed at this age.If it is getting prominent the chances are more of hernia.I would suggest you to consult a pediatric surgeon for proper clinical evaluation of the condition and to discuss the management;whether she needs surgery or not.
I can understand your concern.But as I have mentioned earlier this is the most common surgery performed in this age.So I wont get overly worried even if surgery is needed.

All the best.
Wishing for your baby's good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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