Finding out that your baby needs surgery can be worrying, but your child isn’t alone in needing some extra care in their early years. Many babies in the UK need operations to correct conditions that they were born with or to tackle issues that developed later on. If your baby is having an operation at the London Children’s Surgery, then they may well be having one of the most common paediatric procedures.
5 of the Most Common Operations for Babies
- Hernia Repair: a hernia happens when there is a weakness or hole in the wall of muscle that surrounds the internal organs. The organs can slip through this hole and may be cut off from their blood supply. Inguinal hernias are one of the most common types in babies. Around 1 in 6 premature babies will have one.
- Hydrocele Surgery: a hydrocele is an accumulation of fluid around the testicles, which is fairly common in babies under 2. Although the issue usually resolves itself, surgery is sometimes needed to keep the fluid out.
- Undescended Testes: if one or both testes haven’t dropped into the scrotum by the age of 3 months, surgery is usually needed to correct it. The operation will usually be performed between about 5 and 15 months. Around 1% of boys have an undescended testicle.
- Tongue Tie Correction: about 4% of babies are born with tongue-tie, where the skin that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth is too short or too close to the tip of the tongue to allow proper movement. If tongue tie interferes with breastfeeding or is likely to cause speech problems, a simple procedure can be performed to free the tongue.
- Circumcision: although newborn circumcision isn’t as common among children’s surgery in London as in some other parts of the world, it does still get performed for religious reasons. On a global level, circumcision is the most common operation performed on babies. In some countries, such as the US, most boys will have this procedure as babies even when there is no medical need to do so.
All of these procedures are performed regularly by paediatric surgeons in the UK, so you can be sure that your doctor is very familiar with the procedure. Many other parents and babies have been through the same kind of children’s surgery in London. It often helps to know that other people are going through the same experiences, but if you still feel anxious about the procedure you should feel free to talk to your doctor. It’s important for you to understand what is going on and to get the support you need to care for your child.