What to Expect After Hernia/Hydrocele Surgery

A breathing tube was placed in your child’s throat to help him breathe while he was asleep during surgery. This often causes a sore throat, which can be quite painful. This typically goes away in the first day. If this bothers your child, we suggest cold drinks and soft foods. Some may need to avoid hard and crunchy foods for 1-2 days.

After surgery, it is normal for your child to have a low-grade fever, usually 99 or 100 degrees Fahrenheit. We become concerned if the fever is greater than 101.5 degrees the day after surgery. Usually, fever after surgery is due to respiratory infections, such as ear infections, colds, and possibly, pneumonia. It is often preferable to have your child’s doctor check him if he has a high fever soon after surgery to be sure that it is not an ear, sinus, or lung infection. You or your child’s doctor should contact our office if there is any concern about infection at the site of surgery. 

Appearance and care of the incision

It is normal to expect swelling and bruising in the scrotum (sac). This will get worse for the first few days and then get better over the following month. It is not unusual to see a small amount of bleeding from the incisions on the groin (lower abdomen) and scrotum for the first day or two. Please call us if you see large blood clots in the diaper or underwear.

The incisions are covered with small pieces of tape. These help the skin heal and usually fall off in one week. If they are still present in two weeks, you may gently pull them off. The stitches in the incision will dissolve over a period of weeks. He may continue to feel firmness underneath the incision, which represents the healing process and/or the knots in the sutures, and they will soften over 6 months. It may take up to 1 year for the incisions to fade to their full extent.

You may bathe your son beginning three days after surgery. Until that time, just give him a sponge bath and do not soak his penis under water. If he has a messy bowel movement, clean the scrotum gently with warm water.

We recommend that your son not play on a straddle toy until he sees his doctor for the follow-up appointment after surgery. These include bikes, tricycles, rocking horses or any toy where their weight is suspended in the crotch. 

Pain control

Children usually get through surgery very well and have little pain. We suggest giving ibuprofen every eight hours for the first three days after surgery; this may prevent pain before it begins and reduce the need for stronger medications. This occasionally can upset the stomach, so it is a good idea that your child eat or drink something at the same time as taking the medication. After 3 days, your child can take this medication as needed.

Ibuprofen may not be strong enough to deal with all of the pain after surgery. Your doctor has written a prescription for a stronger medicine (a narcotic) to manage severe pain. Narcotics will not cause addiction in that short period after surgery. We suggest that you fill this prescription before going home. Sometimes, the patient may feel fine but then wake up in the middle of the night needing the stronger pain medicine.

Constipation and nausea are common side effects of the stronger pain medicine. Therefore, the stronger pain medicine should only be used if he is having severe pain not helped by ibuprofen.

Itching is a normal occurrence after surgery and is a normal part of the healing process. This does not necessarily mean that your child is in pain.

If you have problems, contact our office at (601) 815-1454 or (601) 815-1451. There is an answering service at night and on the weekends to locate a nurse or doctor.