Risks Involved in Umbilical Hernia Surgery Performed for Adults

risks involved umbilical hernia surgery

Umbilical hernia is a pouch formed in the inner lining of the abdominal cavity that protrudes through a hole formed at the belly button. This happens due to the weakness in the muscle around the umbilicus, which in turn allows the tissues of the abdomen to bulge.

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The umbilical cord goes through the muscle making way for the hernia to form. This umbilical hernia is very common in adults and usually takes place in woman after delivery. People who weigh over their ideal weight are also prone to this type of hernia.

Umbilical hernia also affects children. A newborn baby with hernia shows the belly button out and the bulge is very prominent when the baby cries.

However, babies do not need surgery and the hernia shrinks on its own by the time the baby is four years old. In case the hernia does not shrink even after four years of age, it will need medical intervention and the doctor may advise a surgery.

In the case of adults, small hernia with no symptoms and pain can be left for observation. However, for the patients with big and painful hernia surgery is necessary. Sometimes, a part of the intestine or some fat is stuck in the hernia. In such cases the hernia cannot push back. This causes severe pain for the person.

The blood vessels are strangulated and the blood supply to the area is cut making the bulge dark or blur in color. Such a condition needs immediate surgery as the patient start experiencing nausea and vomiting. Umbilical hernia surgery fixes the weakened abdominal wall and closes the holes.


This umbilical hernia surgery is performed with the help of general anesthesia. An incision made under the belly button helps in locating the hernia sac. The surgery separates, stitches, and closes the projection in the muscle when the problem is small.

When the defect is big, suturing does not help, so a mesh is placed to cover the hole. Although the defect remains permanently, the hernia does not reoccur as the mesh prevents growth of flesh. The patients return to normal within two to four weeks.


Nevertheless, some risks go with this umbilical cord hernia surgery. Although the risks are minimal, the patients need to take utmost care. In some patients, anesthesia causes breathing problems, heart problems, or pneumonia. It also reacts to some medicines. The greatest risk is the difficulty in diagnosing the hernia. Some patients develop bleeding and infection.

A very rare risk factor is that sometimes umbilical hernia surgery damages the large intestine. The patient should take proper care that the incision is protected and be careful while sneezing, coughing, rising from a sitting position, vomiting and should avoid pressure during bowel movement. Any condition that would put pressure on the abdominal wall need to be avoided to avert the reoccurrence of this umbilical hernia.

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