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February 1963

Inguinal Hernia of Infancy and Childhood

Author Affiliations

From the Surgical Service, Children's Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1963;86(2):299-303. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1963.01310080123028

Failure of the embryonal vaginal process to close normally is the cause of indirect inguinal hernia. While ordinarily the processes are obliterated during the last month of fetal life, some may still be patent at birth, and even not completely closed at 3 to 6 months later.1,2,3 If the process has contents, it is actually an indirect inguinal hernia.

It is a generally accepted principle that such an actual inguinal hernia in an otherwise healthy infant or child is best treated by early surgical repair. In contrast, not much over a decade ago, operation was deferred if feasible, even up to the age of 4 years. Better operating facilities, better anesthesia practices, and better postoperative care have been the main factors responsible for this change. The adoption, by most surgeons experienced in child surgery, of a most simple operation has also accentuated the trend toward early repair and away

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