Paediatric umbilical hernia repair

HERNIA SURGERY FOR YOUNG CHILDREN

 

Umbilical hernias are common in babies and young children, but can be easily fixed with a straightforward procedure

Female doctor pediatrician examines the baby 1444116909.jpg

What is an umbilical hernia in a child?

As your baby's belly button heals, the ring of muscle where the umbilical cord used to be may not completely close over.

A hernia will sometimes appear as a protruding lump at their belly button. This may be especially noticeable when your baby is coughing, crying or straining.

Need to know

Umbilical hernias usually disappear on their own as your baby's tummy muscles continue to develop. If the hernia is especially large or doesn't go away by the age of two, your consultant may recommend a procedure to repair it.

This will prevent potential complications as your child gets older. The procedure is done under general anaesthetic, meaning your child will be asleep. Your surgeon will make a small cut at your child's belly button and push the protruding tissue forming the hernia back into place.

They will also close any weak spots or gaps in your child's tummy muscles with stitches. The procedure usually takes around 30 minutes in theatre.

Your child's consultant will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you might have. Because the procedure will be done under general anaesthetic, they'll let you know how long your child should avoid eating and drinking before surgery.

Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.

Your child should be able to return home on the same day as their surgery. Sometimes very young children are cared for in hospital overnight.

There is likely to be some bruising and swelling or tenderness in the area for about a week following the procedure. Your child's consultant may recommend pain relief medication, including paracetamol or ibuprofen, to help keep your child comfortable.

Your child's consultant will also let you know when they can get back to their usual routine including school or nursery.

Hospital stay and procedure

Self-funding

Paying for medical treatment

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Paediatric umbilical hernia repair Consultants

Mr Stefano Giuliani

Mr Stefano Giuliani

Paediatric Surgery

Mr Feilim Murphy

Mr Feilim Murphy

Paediatric Surgery

Mr Simon Clarke

Mr Simon Clarke

Paediatric Surgery

Mrs Ashwini Joshi

Mrs Ashwini Joshi

Paediatric Surgery

Our Paediatric umbilical hernia repair locations

The Portland Hospital

The Portland Hospital

205-209 Great Portland Street W1W 5AH London

Patient stories

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.