Umbilical Hernia Treatment
What is Umbilical hernia ?
An umbilical hernia looks like a bump near your belly button. It happens because a part of your intestine bulges out through an opening in your abdominal muscles near your belly button (also called umbilicus). At ALSA Pakistan, we perform umbilical hernia surgery to treat it
Umbilical hernia surgery in infants and children
Umbilical hernias are very common in newborns and young children. The classic sign of umbilical hernia in infants is the belly button protrudes out when the baby cries, coughs, or strains. Umbilical hernia in newborns usually closes on its own within the first two to three years of life. When it remains open long after three years of age, our child surgeon Dr. Muhammad Mohsin performs umbilical hernia surgery.
Umbilical hernia in newborn occurs because the abdominal muscles do not close completely during the development of the baby during pregnancy. Because of it, a little opening remains in between the abdominal muscles, and an umbilical hernia can emerge at birth or later in life. An umbilical hernia is more common in babies with low birth rates and premature births.
Umbilical hernia surgery in adults
Umbilical hernias in adults can be painful, and they do not go away on their own. At ALSA Pakistan, Dr. Tahir Yunus performs umbilical hernia surgery to repair the hernia. In adults, umbilical hernia occurs due to too much pressure in the abdomen, which can be due to:
Umbilical hernia treatment
Umbilical hernia surgery can be performed in two different ways;
Laparoscopic hernia repair surgery
It is a more advanced and less invasive procedure. During this procedure, we make several small cuts around the hernia site.
Then in one of the cuts, we insert a long thin tube with a camera on its end (called a laparoscope).
Then we gently push the intestine and other tissues back into the abdominal wall and close the opening between the abdominal muscles.
In some cases, we insert a synthetic mesh material to strengthen the area.
Open hernia repair surgery
This is the conventional method, and we use it in case of complications such as strangulation of hernia. During this method, we make a single cut near your belly button and place the protruding intestine back into the belly.
Significance of getting umbilical hernia surgery
Umbilical hernia surgery has very high success rates. Usually, an umbilical hernia is harmless and does not cause pain or discomfort. However, an incarcerated hernia is serious. An incarcerated hernia is when the intestine gets trapped in muscles, and then it can become deprived of oxygen. Immediate medical care is required when the umbilical hernia is causing pain, vomiting, tenderness, swelling, or discoloration at the site of the hernia. Large hernias do not heal on their own and need umbilical hernia surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the symptoms of an umbilical hernia?
Usually, hernias are diagnosed during physical examination. So, if your baby shows signs of nausea, vomiting, and extreme pain, it may be due to a hernia. The pediatrician looks for a bulge or swelling on the umbilicus or belly button area. It may be even more noticeable when the baby cries and minimal when it relaxes. Furthermore, the following symptoms for umbilical hernia are confirmed to ensure that the hernia is incarcerated.
- Abdominal pain and tenderness
- Full, round abdomen
- Red, purple, dark or discoloured bulge
An incarcerated hernia strangulates the intestine that becomes necrotic if not treated in time. Furthermore, blood tests may also be performed to rule out the chances of infection due to intestine strangulation
How long is the recovery time for umbilical hernia surgery?
After the umbilical hernia treatment, there may be pain, discomfort and swelling around the navel area. However, your child will recover within a few days. In some cases, the child may take up to 3 to 4 weeks. Recovery will be as long as bad as the hernia is. During recovery, the kids must be careful of too hard, brisk movements. Furthermore, you will get a follow-up appointment about 3 to 4 weeks post-surgery, when your pediatric surgeon will ensure that everything is fine and there is no postoperative complication.
Can I leave it untreated?
Surgery is the last resort to treat umbilical hernia for infants because, in many cases, it resolves independently with time. However, if it does not improve, you must consult your pediatrician. Furthermore, if the baby shows signs of discomfort or pain on the herniated site, it indicates immediate treatment. On the contrary, if the hernia is left untreated, it goes to the organs near the area prone to damage which may lead to further complications such as strangulation of the intestines and necrosis. So, if your baby’s hernia is not settling and worsening, you must consult the best pediatrician and schedule the treatment.
Can an umbilical hernia come back after surgery?
Umbilical hernia surgery is a surgical treatment with very high success rates. However, in some rare cases, it can appear again.
When should I call my child's pediatrician after the umbilical hernia surgery?
After the surgery, minor swelling or discolouration is normal. However, if you observe any of the following symptoms, you must call your child’s pediatrician.
- Inability to urinate
- Excessive swelling
- Excruciating pain