What is an undescended testis?

An undescended testis is when the testis is not fully down in the boy’s scrotum. The testis first develops near the kidney when the baby boy is inside the mother’s womb. For the testis to drop down into the scrotum there needs to be a passage through the groin area. Sometimes the testis remains inside the tummy cavity, but much more commonly it becomes stuck in or close to the groin passage. An undescended testis is not uncommon at birth, especially in premature boys. The testis may ‘drop’ of its own accord in the first 6 months of life, but is very unlikely to do so after this time. The testis needs to be located in the scrotum in order for it to be kept cooler then the rest of the body and to produce normal sperm when the boy is older. Ideally this operation should be performed before the boy is 12 months of age.

Read More

What is an umbilical or para-umbilical hernia?

An umbilical hernia is a protrusion of some of the contents of the tummy into the umbilical area (‘bellybutton’). It is a very common problem but only rarely causes pain. Often the hernia will repair itself as your child becomes older, but this is much less likely to happen after 4 years of age. Sometimes the hernia appears to be umbilical but may in fact be immediately alongside the umbilicus. These hernias are called ‘Para-umbilical hernias’ and although very similar to a true umbilical hernia, always need to be repaired as the body cannot repair them itself.

What Is an Inguinal Hernia?

An inguinal hernia occurs in the groin area when fatty or intestinal tissues push through the inguinal canal. The inguinal canal resides at the base of the abdomen. Both men and woman have an inguinal canal. In men, the testes usually descend through this canal shortly before birth. In women, the canal is the location for the uterine ligament. If you have a hernia in this passage, it results in a protruding bulge that may be painful during movement.

Read More