Drug Class





Varies with drug


Prevent infection postoperatively


Varies with drug

Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs); narcotics

Relieve discomfort caused by hernial pressure, or postoperatively


The nurse explains what to expect before, during, and after the surgery. Parents, especially those of a newborn, are anxious because their child requires general anesthesia for the procedure. If possible, use preoperative teaching tools such as pamphlets and videotapes to reinforce the information. Allow as much time as is needed to answer questions and explain procedures.

The nurse also instructs patients and parents on the care of the incision. Often, the incision is simply covered with collodion (a viscous liquid that, when applied, dries to form a thin transparent film) and should be kept clean and dry. Encourage the patient to defer bathing and showering and instead to use sponge baths until he or she is seen by the surgeon at a follow-up visit. Explain how to monitor the incision for signs of infection. Infants or young children who are wearing diapers should have frequent diaper changes, or the diapers should be turned down from the incision so as not to contaminate the incision with urine. Teach the patient or parents about the possibility of some scrotal swelling or hematoma; both should subside over time.

If the patient does not have surgery, teach the signs of a strangulated or incarcerated hernia: severe pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, high fever, and bloody stools. Explain that if these symptoms occur, the patient must notify the primary healthcare provider immediately. If the patient uses a truss, she or he should use it only after a hernia has been reduced. Assist the patient with the truss, preferably in the morning before the patient arises. Encourage the patient to bathe daily and to apply a thin film of powder or cornstarch to prevent skin irritation.

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