Q. Should my 15-year-old son undergo surgery for his inguinal hernia?

Answered by
Dr. Pandian. P
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 03, 2022 and last reviewed on: May 24, 2023

Hello doctor,

My 15-year-old son has been complaining of discomfort in his right groin for several months. The pain is not severe or stabbing but rather more discomfort and perhaps very mildly painful for a few moments. We took him to a pediatrician's office, and the doctor did not feel anything abnormal in his testicles but ordered an ultrasound of his right groin (report attached). The ultrasound reported a right inguinal hernia, an opening measuring 0.55 inches. My questions are:

1. Does this usually necessitate surgery? Or a watch and wait until he grows up more.

2. If he needs surgery, what is generally the safer and best approach for a 15-year-old teenager, laparoscopic or open hernia surgery repair?

3. Will he need general anesthesia for surgery?

4. Is this a relatively common thing in his age group?

5. Does he need a CT of the pelvis for follow-up?

He has had a history of asthma since the age of four and used inhalers. He is very skinny, but his height and weight are within normal limits, according to his pediatrician. Otherwise, he is generally healthy.

Thank you.



Welcome to

I read your query and understand your concern.

I have reviewed the attached reports (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity). The mild discomfort he is having may be due to a hernia. My concern is the 9 mm lymph node, which is somewhat more in this age group. So better go for a CT (computed tomography) abdomen scan (radiation is negligible nowadays due to advanced CT machines). He needs an operation for this condition; whether open surgery or laparoscopy has to decide based on the CT scan report. If multiple lymph node enlargements exist, then laparoscopy is best (because lymph node biopsy can also be taken). Usually, general anesthesia is safe in this age group.

Thank you.

Hello doctor,

Thank you for your response.

1. How long does the patient take to recover after inguinal hernia surgery?

2. Is it a relatively safe procedure?

3. How long does he generally need to be immobile to rest (he will not be able to attend school for a while)?

The radiologist said the lymph node was normal since it was of average shape and size and saw only one. Also, do most surgeons require a CT scan or MRI for pre-surgical reasons? I also attached a photo of the inguinal hernia.

Thank you.



Welcome back to

Laparoscopic surgery takes more time than open surgery, depending on the method used. Open surgery usually takes 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes. However, he may be able to attend school after one week, and it is a relatively safe procedure. Therefore, my suggestion is open surgery. But leave it to your surgeon. Let him decide based on the clinical condition.

Thank you.

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