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Contralateral Inguinal Exploration in Child with Unilateral Hernia

Arch Surg. 1962;85(3):521-524. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1962.01310030169026.
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There is a recent trend towards recommending exploration of the contralateral inguinal canal of infants and children with clinically unilateral inguinal hernias.2,9,12,13,15

This has been advocated because of the high incidence (between 60% and 70%) of hernial sacs found on exploration of the opposite inguinal canal.1,3,4,9,12,13,15

In addition, the incidence of readmission for repair of a contralateral hernia in children has been reported to be as high as 32%.9

Earlier authors were opposed to this practice because of the low incidence of bilaterality as reported by Gross5 and Shidler16 and the possibilities of trauma to the cord or of infection.6,8,11 However, these latter contraindications no longer seem to exist, since various authors found no increase in morbidity after exploration of the second side provided the first part of the operation had proceeded smoothly.2,9

It is well known that an open processus vaginalis will


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