Virtual Pediatric Hospital(tm) : A digital library of pediatric information

Home | About | FAQ | Reviews | Search

Virtual Pediatric Hospital: Paediapaedia: Small Bowel Obstruction (SBO) Paediapaedia: Gastrointestinal Diseases

Small Bowel Obstruction (SBO) Due to Inguinal Hernia

Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D.
Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed

Clinical Presentation:
Usually asymptomatic until the patient develops bowel incarceration and obstruction. The area then becomes tender and there is vomiting with progressive abdominal distentsion. Eighty percent are diagnosed in the first year. There is an increased incidence in premature infants. This is the most common cause of small bowel obstruction in early infancy in children without prior surgery.

Inguinal hernias in children are most frequently indirect. In an indirect inguinal hernia the processus vaginalis remains patent and this allows the herniation of abdominal viscera into the scrotum.

Not applicable

Imaging Findings:
Plain abdominal film shows a low mechanical bowel obstruction. Although an air filled loop of bowel in the inguinal region is diagnostic, it is usually not seen as the incarcerated bowel is usually collapsed. The most reliable plain film sign is an asymmetrical swelling of the affected inguinoscrotal fold


See References Chapter.

Section Top | Title Page

Additional pediatric resources: | Facebook iconTwitter iconRSS icon |

Follow us on Twitter @pedseducationTwitter icon and @pedsimagingTwitter icon

About Us | FAQ | Reviews | Contact Us | Search

Virtual Pediatric Hospital is curated by Donna M. D'Alessandro, M.D. and by Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D.

Please send us comments by filling out our Comment Form.

All contents copyright © 1992-2016 Donna M. D'Alessandro, M.D. and Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D. and the authors. All rights reserved.

"Virtual Pediatric Hospital", the Virtual Pediatric Hospital logo, and "A digital library of pediatric information" are all Trademarks of Donna M. D'Alessandro, M.D. and Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D.

Virtual Pediatric Hospital is funded in whole by Donna M. D'Alessandro, M.D. and Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D. Advertising is not accepted.

Your personal information remains confidential and is not sold, leased, or given to any third party be they reliable or not.

The information contained in Virtual Pediatric Hospital is not a substitute for the medical care and advice of your physician. There may be variations in treatment that your physician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.