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Umbilical Hernia Repair
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
What do I need to know about an umbilical hernia repair?
An umbilical hernia repair is surgery to fix your umbilical (belly button) hernia. An umbilical hernia may be repaired if the hernia is preventing blood flow to your organs, blocking your intestines, or causing pain. An open repair or laparoscopic repair may be done to fix your umbilical hernia.
How do I prepare for an umbilical hernia repair?
Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for surgery. He or she may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of surgery. He or she will tell you what medicines you should take or not take on the day of surgery. You may be given an antibiotic through your IV to help prevent a bacterial infection. Tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic. Arrange for someone to drive you home and stay with you after surgery. The person can watch for problems and help you around the house.
What will happen during a laparoscopic umbilical hernia repair?
- You will be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Your healthcare provider will make a small incision above your belly button. He or she will insert a laparoscope through this incision. A laparoscope is a long metal tube with a light and camera on the end. The provider will insert other instruments by making 2 to 4 smaller incisions at different places on your abdomen. He or she will inflate your abdomen with gas. This will help your provider see your hernia better.
- Your healthcare provider will move your intestines or tissue back into the correct place. Strong stitches will be used to close the opening in your abdominal wall. Mesh may be used to cover or plug the area. Mesh helps prevent the hernia from happening again. Your healthcare provider may close your incisions with stitches, medical glue, or Steri-strips™. He or she may also place a small bandage over the incisions.
What will happen during an open umbilical hernia repair?
- You will be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Your healthcare provider will make an incision near your belly button. He or she will move your intestines or tissue back into their correct place.
- Strong stitches may be used to close the opening in your abdominal wall. Mesh may be used to cover or plug the area. Mesh helps prevent the hernia from happening again. Your healthcare provider may close your incision with stitches, medical glue, or Steri-strips™. He or she may also place a small bandage over the incision.
What will happen after an umbilical hernia repair?
Healthcare providers will monitor you until you are awake. You may have pain, bloating, or nausea after your surgery. If you had a laparoscopic repair, you may have pain in your shoulder or near your ribs. This is from the gas used during surgery. Healthcare providers will give you medicine to help decrease pain and nausea. You may be able to go home when your pain is controlled, you can drink liquids, and you urinate.
What are the risks of an umbilical hernia repair?
You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. A pocket of fluid may form under your skin. You may need treatment to remove it. Your umbilical hernia may return, or you may develop a hernia in a different location. Your intestines may be injured during the surgery. You may get a blood clot in your leg, arm, or lungs. This may become life-threatening.
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