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Epigastric (midline) hernia repair

Surgery for a hernia between the belly button and breastbone

If you have a lump between your belly button and breastbone, it may be an epigastric hernia. HCA UK can help.

About epigastric hernia repair

An epigastric hernia occurs when fatty tissue pushes through your abdomen, between your navel (belly button) and your sternum (breastbone), creating a lump or swelling. Surgery is an effective treatment option to remove an epigastric hernia.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    Your GP or consultant will examine the affected area and may refer you for an ultrasound scan. This is a painless and non-invasive test to confirm the diagnosis.

    Before recommending surgery, your consultant will consider:
    • risk of strangulation (if the hernia contains parts of your bowel)
    • if your symptoms are getting worse
    • the effect it is having on you daily

    You will be admitted on the day of surgery unless there are any reasons which may require you to be admitted the day before.

    Your consultant will tell you how to prepare for your operation. They will talk you through the risks and side effects involved and answer any questions you may have.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your consultant will make a cut over the epigastric hernia to free up the ‘hernial sac’. Intestine or other tissue inside the sac will be carefully pushed back into your abdominal cavity. The excess sac may be tied off or removed.

    The weak spot where the hernia was located will be closed with strong, secure stitches, or a patch of synthetic nylon mesh may be used if the hernia is particularly large. A waterproof dressing will be placed over the area.

    A general anaesthetic is usually used during epigastric hernia repair, so you will be asleep throughout the procedure and feel no pain.

    The repair generally takes about half an hour.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    You may experience some bruising, swelling and discomfort in your abdominal area after the procedure. Painkillers (either injections or tablets) should help with this in the first 24-48 hours following your surgery.

    You may be able to go home on the day of the procedure, although it’s sometimes necessary to stay overnight.

    Activity is encouraged but you should avoid putting any strain on your abdomen for at least 4 weeks.

    It is important to avoid constipation and straining when you go to the toilet. Eating plenty of fibre and drinking lots of fluids should help.

    Your consultant may advise you not to drive for at least a week after surgery.
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our locations

From complex gastric surgery to minor procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • The Princess Grace Hospital

    42-52 Nottingham Place

    London W1U 5NY

    Appointments 020 7908 8001
    General enquiries 020 7486 1234

  • The Wellington Hospital - South Building

    The Wellington Hospital

    Wellington Place

    London NW8 9LE

    Appointments 020 7483 5148
    General enquiries 020 7586 5959

  • London Bridge Hospital

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street

    London

    SE1 2PR

    Appointments & Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments 020 7234 2773

  • The HSC exterior

    The Harley Street Clinic

    35 Weymouth Street

    London  W1G 8BJ

    Appointments 020 7935 7700
    General enquiries 020 7034 8181

  • The Lister Hospital

    Chelsea Bridge Road

    London

    SW1W 8RH

    Appointments 020 7730 8298
    General enquiries 020 7730 7733

  • The Portland Hospital

    205 - 209 Great Portland Street

    London

    W1W 5AH

    Children's enquiries 020 7390 8020
    Maternity enquiries 020 7390 6068
    Gynaecology enquiries 020 7390 6200

  • Facility-CODC-hero-582-582

    Chiswick Medical Centre

    Chiswick Medical Centre, Bond House

    347-353 Chiswick High Road

    London  W4 4HS

    Call

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    HCA UK at The Shard

    The Shard, 32 St Thomas Street

    London

    SE1 9BS

    Call 020 3131 6888
    Opening hours 7:30 - 20:00 Monday - Friday

  • Docklands facility

    HCA UK at Docklands

    2 Upper Bank Street, Canary Wharf

    London

    E14 5EE

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