Umbilical hernia repair

Surgery to repair an abdominal hernia

Umbilical hernia surgery is a common procedure to repair a hernia and strengthen the supporting abdominal muscles


A hernia near your navel is a condition caused by a weakness in the muscles of your abdominal wall. This weakness allows part of your bowel or internal tissue to push through, forming a pouch or painful bulge called a hernia. If left untreated, a hernia can cause serious complications.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    Umbilical hernia repair is usually done under general anaesthetic, meaning you'll be asleep during the procedure. Your surgeon will make a small cut near your navel and repair the tissue forming the hernia pouch. They'll carefully return this tissue back into your abdomen and close any weak spot in your muscles with strong stitches or a synthetic mesh. This will help to prevent your hernia from coming back. The entire procedure usually takes around 30 minutes.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your consultant will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you may have. Because you'll be having having general anaesthetic, they'll let you know how long you should avoid eating and drinking before your surgery. Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    You should be able to return home the same day as your surgery. You might have some swelling or bruising around your navel for a couple of weeks, but this should improve over time. It can take around four weeks to recover from umbilical hernia surgery, but you should avoid heavy lifting for at least six weeks after your procedure. Your consultant will let you know when you can get back to your usual routine, including work or exercise.

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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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