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Umbilical hernia: occur when fatty tissue or a part of your bowel pokes through your abdomen near your belly button.

What causes an umbilical hernia?

Umbilical hernias are common in infants, they close by the age of 1. Some may not close and persist.

What are the expected symptoms?

Usually asymptomatic. It may cause pain, obstruction and strangulation.

What are the alarming symptoms?

Increasing in size, increasing in pain.

What is a strangulated hernia?

Strangulated hernia is a surgical emergency, if neglected can lead to very serious complications. Strangulation occurs when blood supply to hernia contents, usually bowel, is impaired leading to ischemia (death of the bowel) or gangrene of the bowel.

What is the treatment?

Surgical repair with or without mesh is a recognised treatment.

When is the surgery required?

Surgery should be considered when the hernia is painful, increases in size, is hard to be pushed back inside, obstructed or strangulated.

What are the different types of surgery available?

Generally umbilical hernias are repaired by open technique. Recurrent hernias can be repaired by key-hole surgery.

What happens during surgery?

Repair of umbilical hernia is carried out under general anaesthesia. Your surgeon will make a small incision below the umbilicus then the hernia will be identified and reduced. The hernia defect will be repaired either with non-absorbable sutures or a mesh. The wound will be closed with absorbable sutures.

What is the after care?

You will be encouraged to be mobile as much as possible. We advise our patients to refrain from lifting heavy weights for four weeks and avoid driving till they are able to put an emergency stop. Our patients will be able to go home on the same day depending on the timing of the surgery.

Do I need to take time off from work following surgery?

It depends on the type of work involved, however generally you will need two weeks off from work.

What are the risks from surgery?

Minor problems are more common and serious complications are very rare.

Umbilical Hernia

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