An umbilical hernia is a bulge that forms in the abdomen. The procedure to remove is simple and low-risk. Umbilical hernia repair surgery is needed when the hernia causes pain or is large enough to cause disfigurement.
Umbilical hernia repair surgery can be performed in two different ways: open hernia repair and laparoscopic hernia repair. During an open hernia repair surgery, the surgeon will make an incision below your belly button to access the hernia.
Meanwhile in the laparoscopic hernia repair is a less invasive procedure. The surgeon makes several smaller incisions around the hernia site to later insert a thin, flexible tube with a light on the end into one of the incisions. This instrument called laparoscope allows the surgeon to see inside your abdominal cavity on a video screen.
Regardless of the type of surgery you and your doctor choose, the procedure is the same: the surgeon will push the bulging intestine and abdominal lining back through the hole in the abdominal wall, to later sew the hole closed. Depending on the situation, a synthetic mesh material might be inserted into the abdomen to strengthen the area.
It's normal to feel sore and uncomfortable immediately after surgery, but most of the patients can go home the same day as having the surgery. Painkillers will also be provided to take after the anesthetic effect has passed.
There may be bruising and tenderness around the wound during your recovery. This is normal and it usually settles in about a week. However, the swelling will last longer than a week.
It’s possible for another umbilical hernia to develop in the future, but this is fairly rare.