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Healthy Living

Surgical Procedures Often Required In Children

Umblical Hernia

This results from a weakness or laxity in the muscles of the abdominal wall. The theory that it results from improper ligation of the umblical cord resulting in air entering inside is incorrect. In many children this hernia disappears around the ninth month of life. Normally at birth, it should not be possible to insinuate one's thumb into the child's umblicus. If the thumb can be insinuated, then surgery will often be required later. Corrective surgery is best done early (when the child is around one and half years old).


It is generally assumed that the accumulation of fluid in the scrotal sac constituting a hydrocoele, can occur only in an adult male.. However, this is not always so and even children can develop this problem.

The testes in the male child develop within the abdominal cavity. From the abdominal cavity, testes begin to descend gradually to take their place in the scrotal sac. This takes place at or soon after birth where they are palpable. Sometimes, along with the testes, fluid may also be pushed down and a hydrocoele develops. Such hydrocoele does not require immediate surgery and the surgery can be done even when the child is one and a half years old.

If one or both testes have not descended into the scrotal sac even by the time the child is one and half years old, a diagnosis of Undescended Testes is made. If left without surgical correction, undescended testes have a greater risk of developing cancer than the normal testes do.

Inguinal Hernia (Hernia of the Groin)

This condition results due to the descent of the bowel through a weakness in the abdominal wall. A swelling appears in the groin whenever the child coughs or cries and there is pain. The swelling disappears when the child lies down. It is essential to diagnose and surgically correct inguinal hernia.

Umblical Granuloma

This results from improper and incomplete removal of the umblical cord at the time of birth. The umblical wound fails to heal, and there is a watery discharge from the wound. At times, pus is discharged. There is a simple home remedy for this problem. The wound heals on application of powdered salt every night to the umblical wound site for four or five days. Alternatively, copper sulphate may also be applied to heal the wound.

Sternomastoid (Neck) Tumour

During the birth of the child, it is a common practice for doctors to apply pressure on the head and neck of the emerging child. This may sometimes produce an accumulation of blood on the neck and a swelling may develop. This swelling is noticeable within 4-5 weeks of birth. Doctors treat this problem by giving steroid injections once a week and if this does not work, surgery is required. If this condition is not treated the child may develop a stiff-neck or torticollis.


Whether surgery is required for tonsillitis or not remains a much-debated subject. As a rough estimate, only about 20% of patients with tonsillitis require surgery. The patients who frequently develop fever, joint pain and abdominal pain especially in the mornings are in need of surgery. Even the patients who develop glandular swellings in the neck (lymph Nodes) require surgery. Doctors do not operate on a child just because the tonsils are inflamed. However, if Tonsillitis is ignored and it remains untreated, it can result in Rheumatic Heart disease or Renal Disease. Children with tonsillitis and those who breathe through the mouth will also require surgery.


Circumcision is a healthy practice followed by the Muslim Community. In circumcision, the foreskin of the penis in the male child is removed surgically. This helps in preventing a variety of diseases. Medically, it is a practice that members of other religions would do well to follow. Ballooning of the penile tip with purulent discharge also requires circumcision.


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