Umbilical hernia

An umbilical hernia is when you have an area of weakness around your belly button. This causes abdominal contents to poke through causing a lump where your belly button should be.

Q: Why do I need the operation?

Usually an umbilical hernia causes some discomfort so it is best to repair it. The hernia may also get stuck which will cause a lot of pain - hence we try and fix it before this happens.

Q: How do I know for sure that I have the condition therefore need this operation?

The symptoms are very classic.  Your surgeon will examine you to confirm this.

Q: What scar will I have and what does the procedure involve?

Most of these hernias are very small so you will have a scar either above or below your belly button. If the hernia is very large, this can be done with keyhole surgery. A mesh may be used to strenghthen the weakness.

Q: What anaesthetic will I have and do I have a choice?

This is done with a general anaesthetic.

Q: What are the possible complications and what are the chances that they will occur?

Complications are very rare but include general things such as bleeding and infection. There is a very small risk that your hernia may come back.

Q: Should I not be doing certain things after the operation?

You should not do any heavy lifting for 6 weeks after the operation as this may increase the risk of the hernia coming back.  Usual precautions for any surgery also applies.

Q: How long should I be off work?

You should not do any heavy lifting for 6 weeks so if your job involves this, you will need a longer period off work.   Otherwise uou usually need 1 week off after the operation.

Q: When will I see my surgeon for review?

Your surgeon will see you for a check up at 2 weeks and 6 weeks after the operation to ensure your hernia has healed appropriately.  Generally no long term follow-up is required.