Umbilical hernia surgery is generally safe and straightforward. It usually takes around 20 to 30 minutes and you can expect to return home the same day.
Before umbilical hernia surgery treatment
Before you receive treatment for an umbilical hernia, you will be instructed not to eat or drink before an anaesthetic. At the hospital you will be able to ask any questions on anything you are unsure about and your nurse and anaesthetist will be able to help you.
In most circumstances, umbilical hernia surgery treatment is carried out under general anaesthetic. This means that you will be unconscious during the procedure and won’t feel any pain as the operation is carried out. General anaesthetic is usually administered through a needle into the back of your hand. If you have a smaller hernia, you may be offered a local anaesthetic
During the umbilical hernia surgery treatment
During the operation, the surgeon will make a small incision at the edge of the belly button. A sleeve of the lining of the abdominal wall (hernia sac) together with protruding fat is usually removed. The abdominal wall defect can be sutured closed if small but for most umbilical hernias, a mesh is placed deep to the abdominal wall to strengthen the area. Using mesh in abdominal wall hernias is safe and effective allowing for a more durable repair. Your surgeon will have that discussion with you at your consultation. Most stitches used to close wounds on the surface of the skin have dissolvable stitches.
After the operation
It is normal to feel sore and uncomfortable immediately after surgery as the local anaesthetic will begin to wear off. Using painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen will be helpful for any pain after the surgery.
A follow up appointment will be arranged to make sure wounds are healed. Bruising of the wound is not uncommon and will normally settle within a week.
You may find it best to wear loose fitting clothing for the following weeks after umbilical hernia surgery treatment, as this will mean less pressure on the wound. It is important to make sure you follow after care instructions regarding hygiene and caring for the wound.
Try to avoid straining through lifting heavy objects and from straining on the toilet as this can cause pain. You can avoid straining on the toilet by drinking lots of fluids and eating plenty of vegetables, fruit and high-fibre foods such as brown rice, pasta and wholemeal bread.
Seek Medical Advice From Us
If you have concerns about an umbilical hernia or think you may have one but have yet to be diagnosed, then please contact us for more advice and support. We have a wealth of medical experience and knowledge in umbilical hernias and the appropriate hernia treatment.