Umbilical hernia repair

Surgery to repair a hernia Near your naval

Umbilical hernia surgery is a common procedure for infants and young children, particularly in babies born prematurely. 

What is an umbilical hernia?

An umbilical hernia occurs near the belly button (umbilicus). It is a condition caused by a weakness in the muscles of the abdominal wall.

This weakness allows part of the bowel or internal tissue to push through, forming a pouch or painful bulge called a hernia. Surgery to repair a hernia and strengthen the supporting abdominal muscles is common.

If left untreated, a umbilical hernia can cause serious complications.

Need to know

  • What happens during surgery? icon plus

    Umbilical hernia repair is usually done under general anaesthetic. Your surgeon will make a small incision near the navel and repair the tissue forming the hernia pouch.

    They will carefully return this tissue back into the abdomen and close any weak spot in the muscles with strong stitches or a synthetic mesh. This will help to prevent the hernia from coming back. The entire procedure usually takes around 30 minutes in theatre.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your consultant will explain the procedure and answer any questions you may have. Because there will be a general anaesthetic, they'll let you know how long to avoid eating and drinking before the surgery.

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

    You should be able to return home the same day as the surgery. There might be some swelling or bruising around the navel for a couple of weeks, but this should improve over time.

    It can take around four weeks to recover from umbilical hernia surgery, and heavy lifting should be avoided for at least six weeks after the procedure. Your consultant will advise when the usual routine can be resumed.

Umbilical hernias in adults

An umbilical hernia is less common in adults, as weaknesses in the abdominal wall are usually spotted in childhood. At The Lister Hospital we have a specialist Abdominal Wall and Hernia Unit, offering treatment from a multidisciplinary team of surgeons for adults with conditions affecting the abdominal wall.  

Our paediatric surgeons

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 surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Book an appointment

Our team can help with any enquiries or you can make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

Call us today

020 7079 4344
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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