Inguinal hernia is the commonest congenital lesion for which infants and children have been admitted to the Children's Memorial Hospital since its opening, in 1948. Its incidence exceeds three to one the next commonest abdominal lesion, which is congenital hypertrophic pyloric stenosis. Among 24,000 admissions to the hospital from March, 1948, to July 1, 1955, 521 admissions have been for inguinal hernia, in contrast to 176 for congenital hypertrophic pyloric stenosis.
It is our purpose to summarize some of the pertinent clinical aspects of this common lesion and our experience in its management. The material consists of a consecutive series of 298 inguinal hernias seen in 240 infants and small children on the surgical service of one of us (C. W. McL.) and which have been critically reviewed.
The processus vaginalis appears as a saclike pocket of peritoneum on each side of the ventral abdominal wall during the third