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December 1957

Inguinal Hernia in Infants and Children

AMA Arch Surg. 1957;75(6):920-927. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1957.01280180052008

Inguinal hernia has harassed the physician for approximately twenty centuries. Its familiarity is attested to by its frequency in occurrence and its prominence in the medical literature. Its complexity is demonstrated by a persistence of different treatments since the Ebers Papyrus, in 1550 B. C.1 Misinformation still exists concerning hernia of infants, probably because less attention has been brought to this young age group. There are some who still advocate trusses for the treatment of hernia in infancy and who advise waiting for surgery until the child "gets older." These recommendations are not without danger and probably should be replaced by a firmer stand that surgery be considered when the hernia is diagnosed.

All inguinal hernias of infants and children in my experience have been indirect. It is commonly agreed that the pathology of an indirect inguinal hernia is persistence of the processus vaginalis. Failure of obliteration results in

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