Consultants who perform this procedure
Why would I need umbilical hernia repair surgery?
If you have an umbilical hernia and it’s causing you considerable pain or discomfort, or your surgeon thinks it could become worse, they will recommend that you have umbilical hernia repair surgery.
What symptoms does umbilical hernia repair surgery address?
An umbilical hernia occurs when a piece of fatty tissue or section of bowel pushes through a weakness in the muscle wall of the abdomen in or near the belly button (navel).
It can be caused by being overweight or obese, having a chronic cough, carrying twins or triplets or regularly straining whilst lifting heavy objects. If left untreated, it can cause considerable pain and discomfort, and could become serious if the bowel becomes obstructed or strangulated.
Surgery aims to repair the hernia to relieve the associated pain and discomfort and help to strengthen the area to prevent it from returning.
When should you speak to your specialist about umbilical hernia repair surgery?
If you think you have an umbilical hernia or you have pain, discomfort or a bulging in your navel area, speak to your specialist who can assess your symptoms and discuss surgery if necessary.
How is umbilical hernia repair surgery performed?
Umbilical hernia repair surgery is carried out under a general anaesthetic and takes around 30 minutes. Most patients are able to go home the same day as their surgery.
During the procedure, your surgeon will make a small incision of around 2-3cm below the naval and then push the herniated tissue or bowel back up into place. They will then strengthen the affected muscle with some strong surgical stitches or by stitching or gluing a medical mesh in place.
What is the recovery like for umbilical hernia repair surgery?
Your recovery from umbilical hernia repair surgery will depend on multiple factors, including your age, fitness level and the nature of your procedure.
After your procedure, your medical team will provide you with pain relief and advice on how long you should take off work and refrain from carrying out your normal activities. Most people are able to return to light exercise and activities within 1-2 weeks and more strenuous activities within another couple of weeks.
Are there any risks/complications associated with umbilical hernia repair surgery?
As with any medical procedure, it’s possible for risks or complications to arise. Speaking with your specialist or surgeon beforehand will help you avoid any adverse reactions.
Umbilical hernia repair surgery has a relatively low risk of serious complications, but the following risks and complications can occur in a small number of cases:
- Swelling and bruising in the area
- A recurrence of the hernia
- Wound infection
- Blood and other fluid collecting in the area
How can I prepare for umbilical hernia repair surgery?
Prior to umbilical hernia repair surgery, your surgeon will discuss with you how best to prepare for surgery, as each patient is different.
Common preparations for umbilical hernia repair surgery include:
- Routine blood tests, x rays or scans as requested by your surgeon
- Taking steps to stop smoking if you smoke
- Losing weight if you’re overweight
- Remaining active and doing regular exercise
Are there alternatives for umbilical hernia repair surgery?
If it’s been recommended that you have umbilical hernia repair surgery, it’s unlikely that any other treatment will be effective in your case.