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Occurrence of contralateral inguinal hernia following unilateral repair in a pediatric hospital.

A review of 904 unilateral hernia repairs was conducted at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario over the period of January 1985 to December 1987. Repairs were done in 758 boys and 89 girls. Repairs of 57 contralateral inguinal hernias were completed following prior unilateral repair (52 boys, 5 girls). Occurrence of contralateral hernias was 5.6% (5.7% for boys, 4.7% for girls). The relative risk in boys with right hernia following left hernia was 8.5%, whereas left hernia following right hernia was 4.3%. Neither sex nor laterality should be considered as an indicator for contralateral exploration in children with a clinical diagnosis of unilateral hernia repair.

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