4 Umbilical and Inguinal Hernia Nursing Care Plans


A hernia occurs when abdominal contents protrude through an opening in a weakened area of a muscle. An umbilical hernia is the bulging of the intestine and omentum through the umbilical ring as a result of incomplete closure following birth. An inguinal hernia is the protrusion of intestine through the inguinal ring caused by a failure of the vaginal process to atrophy to close prior birth allowing for a hernial sac to develop along the inguinal canal.

An umbilical hernia usually resolves by the age of 4-5 years old. Surgery is recommended for those that become enlarged and to those that do not disappear by school age. An inguinal hernia is commonly associated with a hydrocele that becomes prevalent in the infant by 2 to 3 months of age when intra-abdominal pressure increases enough to open the sac. Both are corrected by surgical repair (herniorrhaphy) to prevent obstruction and eventual incarceration of a loop of bowel.

Nursing Care Plans

Rendering effective nursing care is important after a surgical repair for hernia which includes providing comfort, educating parents and child as appropriate with information related with the postoperative condition and care measures, and preventing the occurrence of complications.

Here are four (4) nursing care plans (NCP) and nursing diagnosis (NDx) for umbilical and inguinal hernia:

  1. Acute Pain
  2. Deficient Knowledge
  3. Risk for Injury
  4. Risk for Fluid Volume Deficit

Risk for Injury

Nursing Diagnosis

May be related to

  • Intestinal obstruction

Possibly evidenced by

  • [not applicable]

Desired Outcomes

  • Client will not experience injury.
Nursing Interventions Rationale
Assess by palpation for any swelling in the umbilical or inguinal area while infant cries or when child strains or coughs, and ability to diminish swelling with gentle compression if bowel forced into the sac. Shows hernia that is reducible (easily manipulated back into place).
Assess hernia site for any tenderness and other symptoms such as increased abdominal girth, loss of appetite,  irritability and defecation changes. Reveals partial or complete obstruction as a result of incarceration and strangulation.
Encourage parents to hold and feed the infant when hungry to prevent the infant from crying. Avoids bowel from being forced into the sac.
Instruct parents to notify signs and symptoms to the physician; inform of reason for disorder and expected effect and those that signify an obstruction. Prevents more severe complication of eventual gangrene of bowel.
Counsel parents regarding dietary inclusions and restrictions to avoid straining. Modification of diet to prevent constipation, decreased straining and increased intraabdominal pressure that forces bowel into the sac.
Teach parents of surgical procedure to repair hernia and possible hydrocele and course of progress to expect. Corrects and repairs hernia and hydrocele if present before the development of a complication.
Reassure parents that a hernia usually
resolves itself and if not, surgery
may be expected to repair.
Provides information regarding the prognosis of the disorder.

See Also

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Pediatric Nursing Care Plans

Nursing care plans for pediatric conditions and diseases: 

Paul Martin is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2007. Having worked as a medical-surgical nurse for five years, he handled different kinds of patients and learned how to provide individualized care to them. Now, his experiences working in the hospital is carried over to his writings to help aspiring students achieve their goals. He is currently working as a nursing instructor and have a particular interest in nursing management, emergency care, critical care, infection control, and public health. As a writer at Nurseslabs, his goal is to impart his clinical knowledge and skills to students and nurses helping them become the best version of themselves and ultimately make an impact in uplifting the nursing profession.

2 thoughts on “4 Umbilical and Inguinal Hernia Nursing Care Plans”

  1. Mr. x is a male patient 50 years old he has abdominal hernia. He visited the surgical outpatient clinic of EGH for the first time. The surgeon decided that he needs abdominal surgery after 3 months.
    Answer the following questions:
    1- What is the type of this operation?
    2- Define preoperative period and mention the preoperative care for this patient?
    3- Define the postoperative period and mention the postoperative care for this patient?


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