An umbilical hernioplasty is a surgical procedure performed to repair an umbilical hernia. An umbilical hernia occurs when a section of the abdominal lining or organs protrudes through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles near the navel (belly button).
Infants and young children, particularly those born prematurely, commonly experience this type of hernia.
When is an Umbilical Hernioplasty Needed?
An umbilical hernioplasty is typically considered necessary in the following situations:
· Size and Risk of Complications: Umbilical hernias that are large in size, or have a high risk of complications, such as the hernia becoming incarcerated or strangulated.
· Failure to Resolve Naturally: In infants and young children, umbilical hernias have the potential to close on their own as the child grows. However, if the hernia hasn’t disappeared by the age of 4 to 5 years, surgical repair may be recommended.
· Symptoms and Discomfort: If the umbilical hernia causes pain or significant discomfort that affects your daily life.
Umbilical Hernioplasty Step-by-Step
In most cases this procedure can be carried out under general anesthesia, meaning you will be asleep during surgery and not feel any pain.
To begin the procedure, your surgeon will make a small incision about 2 to 3 centimeters near the bottom of the belly button.
Then, after the incision is done, your surgeon will push the lump of the bowel back into the abdomen.
In adults, the weakened abdominal wall will be strengthened using a special mesh.
To finalize, your surgeon will close the incision with sutures. This procedure is relatively short as it can take from 20 to 30 minutes to complete.
Recovery After Surgery
Commonly, during the first few days after surgery, you feel some pain. The area around your belly button may present some swelling, and it may last several weeks.
Your surgeon may prescribe you painkillers to relieve discomfort and manage the pain. It is recommended to wear loose clothing to reduce discomfort in the area of the procedure.
You will be able to gradually resume your normal activities but you may be recommended to avoid demanding physical activity such as heavy lifting for 4 to 6 weeks.
Make sure to follow all the indications provided by your surgeon and to take proper care of the wound to achieve a successful recovery.