This is a small rupture near the navel. It can give rise to discomfort when fatty tissue gets trapped within the defect. For these reasons you have been advised to have your hernia repaired.An umbilical hernia can happen at any age but it’s most common in babies. The belly button is a weak area in the muscle wall because it is the area through which blood vessels pass to feed the developing foetus in pregnancy. If this area of muscle wall fails to close completely when the baby is born, an umbilical hernia develops. The hernia usually improves in children by the age of four without needing treatment. However, some children may need an operation if it doesn’t get better by the time they are of school age or if the hernia becomes large or causes discomfort.
The operation is usually carried out under a general anaesthetic when you are asleep. Your surgeon will have discussed this with you and you will be given a leaflet explaining more about the anaesthetic. Two or three small cuts are made towards the side of your abdomen. Your surgeon will insert a tube-like telescopic camera (laparoscope), so he or she can view your hernia on a monitor. The hernia is repaired using specially designed surgical instruments that are passed through the other cuts. A synthetic mesh is fixed to the under-surface of your abdominal muscles, to strengthen the abdominal wall. The cuts are closed with dissolvable stitches and covered with a dressing.
General complications are:
- Blood clots
- Infection in the surgical site (wound)]
- Unsightly scarring
You should be able to go home the same day. You should increase how much you walk around over the first few days after your operation. You should be able to return to work after two to four weeks depending on the extent of surgery and your type of work. Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, you should ask a member of the healthcare team or your GP for advice.