Hernia Repair, Paraumbilical and Umbilical

What is an Umbilical / Paraumbilical Hernia Surgery?

An umbilical hernia is an area of weakness in your navel (belly button) and a paraumbilical hernia is an area of weakness around your navel.


What are the symptoms of an Umbilical / Paraumbilical Hernia?

You may notice a swelling or bulge in your navel, which expands when you cough, sneeze or strain. As the hernia enlarges, it has the potential to trap bowel or other abdominal contents within it. If your hernia becomes more and more painful, you will need to see a doctor immediately as you may require an emergency operation.


What is the surgical procedure?

A small umbilical / Paraumbilical hernia can be repaired using traditional open surgery- this method requires the surgeon to make an incision directly over the hernia and repair the defect. A small hernia can be repaired with sutures but for any hernias bigger than 2cms, a mesh repair is advisable. If the hernia is bigger and requires a large cut or a previous open repair has failed, then your surgeon may advise Keyhole (laparoscopic) repair.


What happens during Surgery?

The operation is performed under general anaesthetic and a small ‘telescope’ (laparoscope) is passed into your abdomen above the navel. Your abdomen will be filled with carbon dioxide gas, to help the surgeon see everything properly. A further two cuts will be made in your abdomen to insert instruments to help with the operation. The surgeon will then disconnect the hernia sac from the abdominal wall and then put a mesh is place with metal staples from inside.



Following the procedure, you may be able to leave on the same day or the day after. You will need an adult to take you home in a car or taxi, as you are advised not to drive, and follow the instructions given to you by the hospital. You will be given painkillers for the pain following the procedure.

An adult must stay with you for the first 24 hours after your operation in case you experience any problems. If you had general anaesthetic, it is advised that you avoid drinking alcohol, signing legal documents and operating machinery for 48 hours as your judgement may be impaired. You will have a few small wound dressings which you can remove yourself after one week or a nurse / the surgeon can remove these at a subsequent visit.

It is advisable to avoid strenuous physical activity for the first 2 weeks to allow proper healing of the wounds. It is usual for you to experience some initial pain in the wounds and in your abdominal wall - you may also experience minor discomfort in the shoulder. Most patients recover fully within 1-2 months.

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