We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is an Umbilical Hernia Repair?

By Jacquelyn Gilchrist
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

An umbilical hernia repair is a type of surgery used to correct a specific type of hernia. A hernia is typically a weakness, or even an opening, in the tissue that holds an organ in the proper place. This tissue may be muscle or membrane. In the case of an umbilical hernia, the interior lining of the abdomen forms a sac that creates an opening in the abdominal wall. This hernia occurs in the area of the navel, or belly button.

Not all umbilical hernias require a repair. In an adult, a hernia that does not cause symptoms may simply require regular monitoring by a doctor. If the patient has an underlying medical problem that may make surgery risky, the physician may recommend avoiding it.

Hernias that become larger, or cause symptoms, will likely be treated surgically. Some possible symptoms of a worsening hernia may include pain, nausea, and vomiting. It may also cause dizziness, weakness, and abdominal swelling. If the umbilical hernia cuts off blood supply to the area, it may turn a darker color. In these circumstances, the patient should get medical treatment immediately.

Umbilical hernia repair is not typically as common for infants as it is for adults. Most infants who are born with this condition will simply need to be monitored. Often, when the child reaches three to four years of age, the hernia has resolved itself.

If the hernia causes problems, it may need to be repaired surgically. Hernias that cannot be pushed back in, and continually bulge out — as well as those that interfere with blood circulation — may require treatment. If the child is in pain, evidenced by his crying, the doctor may recommend surgery. Umbilical hernias that do not resolve themselves in a few years may also require correction.

To prepare for the umbilical hernia repair, the patient needs to disclose his full medical history, including any medications, to the doctor. He may need to stop taking certain medications for a period of time, such as those that interfere with blood clotting. The patient will need to refrain from eating or drinking for at least six hours prior to the procedure.

A doctor typically administers general anesthesia for an umbilical hernia repair. This means that the patient is unconscious and does not feel any pain. In some circumstances, the physician may recommend an epidural anesthesia instead, in which case the patient is conscious but feels no pain.

The incision required for this surgery is generally located under the patient's belly button. Once the surgeon has access to the hernia, he may decide to remove it entirely, or to push the esaped tissues back into the patient's belly. Large hernias may require synthetic mesh to close them. The surgeon then stitches the hole in the abdominal lining together, and closes the initial skin incision.

Recovering from an umbilical hernia repair often does not require overnight hospitalization. The patient should expect to refrain from strenuous activities for about two to four weeks. Pain medication can help alleviate any discomfort during the healing process.

Patients should be aware of the possible risks of an umbilical hernia repair. While any surgery can result in excessive bleeding and infection, this surgery may injure the large intestine. This complication rarely occurs. Other possible risks are reactions to the anesthesia, which may include breathing problems or heart problems. Umbilical hernias rarely return following surgery.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.