Umbilical hernias are one of the most common hernias diagnosed worldwide. They can be seen in any group age between young children to older adults. They are also equally distributed between male and female.
The hernia occurs when a portion of the intestine or a piece of intra-abdominal fat protrudes through the umbilical opening between the muscles.
Umbilical hernias are usually asymptomatic, most are identified by a primary care provider during a routine physical exam. Others will notice them after they developed an “outie” or a umbilical bulge.
Many newborn children are born with an umbilical hernia but most will close spontaneously by the time they reach age 4. Surgical therapy is usually consider if the umbilical hernia doesn’t close by that age.
In my practice I decide how to repair the hernia depending on the hernia size, the patients body habitus, age and activity level.
When it comes to hernia surgery, one type of repair “Doesn’t Fit’s All”. You need a surgeon that has ample experience on hernia surgery.
I have performed thousands of hernia repairs using a wide variety of techniques with excellent results. I have taught other surgeons how to perform complex repairs in National Meetings. In Marion County no other surgeons has more experience repairing hernias than me.
The umbilical hernia surgery can be done open through a small umbilical incision or laparoscopically with several small incisions around the umbilicus. Robotic surgery is also a possible approach. Again, the approach will depend on the patient and we will select the procedure that is best for you.
Most repairs are done with synthetic mesh due to lower recurrence rates. This is particularly true in recurrent hernias, larger hernias or in overweight patients.
Most patients will go home the same day after surgery. Pain is usually well control with oral pain medication.
The risk of surgery is usually very low. That could vary depending on prior surgeries, size of the hernia and surgeon experience.
Hernia recurrence for a small umbilical hernia on a healthy, lean and non smoker patient is around 5 percent depending on the approach. Recurrence rate is higher on smoker, morbid obese and larger hernias.
Most patients will return to work in one to two weeks for more sedentary jobs versus 4-6 weeks in more labor intense jobs.