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  • Presence of a hernia (elective).
  • Incarceration or strangulation (emergent).

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Absolute

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  • Coagulopathy.
  • Thrombocytopenia.

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Relative

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  • Extreme prematurity.
  • Cardiopulmonary comorbidities.
  • Immunosuppression.

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Expected Benefits

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  • The most important goal is to eliminate the risk of incarceration and strangulation.
  • Repair can also provide relief from discomfort associated with the hernia.

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Potential Risks

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  • Risks include:
    • Bleeding.
    • Wound infection.
    • Injury to the vas deferens.
    • Injury to the testicular vessels.
    • Injury to the ilioinguinal nerve.
  • Parents should also be informed that the procedure is performed under general anesthesia.

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Equipment

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  • A basic pediatric soft tissue tray should provide the various small retractors (Davis, U.S. Army retractors) needed for the surgery.
  • Peritoneoscopy equipment.
    • 2.7-mm, 70-degree angled laparoscope.
    • Small, blunt-tipped metal 3-mm trocar.
    • Laparoscopy equipment (light cord, camera cord, and a single video monitor).

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  • No special preparation is required other than a thorough preoperative examination with attention to both inguinal regions.
  • The side of the symptomatic hernia should be marked by the surgeon on the patient on the day of surgery with the parent or guardian present.

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  • The patient should be supine on the operating table.
  • Following induction of general anesthesia, the patient may be turned on his or her side for placement of a caudal block if appropriate.

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  • The following steps describe the procedure for a male patient. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia with or without the addition of a caudal block.
  • The entire lower abdomen, perineum, and upper thighs are scrubbed, prepared with povidone-iodine, and draped in the standard sterile fashion.
  • Figure 48–1: A 1–2-cm transverse skin incision is made along the lowest inguinal skin crease approximately 1 cm superior and lateral to the pubic tubercle.
    • The subcutaneous fat is separated to expose Scarpa's fascia, which is incised with either Metzenbaum scissors or electrocautery.
  • Figure 48–2: The opening in Scarpa's fascia is then explored using a hemostat to expose the external oblique aponeurosis below. This allows for placement of small Davis retractors into the wound.
    • A key maneuver at this point is to dissect laterally to fully expose the groove between the abdominal wall and the lateral border of the external oblique fascia.
    • This groove is then followed inferiorly to the external ring, where the spermatic cord and associated hernia sac exit the inguinal canal.
    • A hemostat is placed in the external ring and a small nick is made in the ring using a knife.
    • The hemostat is briefly removed to allow the ilioinguinal nerve to fall away and is then replaced in the external ring.
    • The external oblique fascia is incised from along its fibers for a distance of 1–2 cm.
    • The edges of the opened external oblique fascia are grasped with atraumatic forceps and the undersurface of each leaf is gently brushed clear of the underlying cord ...

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