A hernia occurs when a portion intestine pushes through an opening or weak spot in the abdomen and groin. An inguinal hernia or femoral hernia might appear as a mass in the scrotum or higher in the groin, whilst an umbilical hernia causes a bulge around the belly button. If a hernia becomes uncomfortable, it might require repair. 

In infants, an inguinal hernia occurs because the passageway from the abdomen to the scrotum has failed to close during development. This is called a patent processus vaginalis. If the hernia persists for longer than one year after birth, then a hernia repair, known as herniotomy, is usually required.

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