With improvements in neonatal intensive care, more premature infants are surviving the neonatal period. With this increase, more are presenting for surgery in early infancy. Of predominance in this period is the repair of inguinal herniae, appearing in 38% of infants whose birth weight is between 751g and 1000g. Most postoperative studies show that approximately 20% to 30% of otherwise healthy former preterm infants having inguinal herniorrhaphy under general anaesthesia have one or more apnoeas in the postoperative period. Regional anaesthesia might reduce postoperative apnoea in this population.