How is umbilical hernia treated?
Most umbilical hernias close by themselves. This usually happens before the child turns 1 but can take up to four or five years. If the umbilical hernia doesn’t close on its own, your child’s doctor may recommend surgery to fix it. This surgery is usually done as an outpatient procedure using anesthesia.
Surgery for an umbilical hernia
Your child will be given general anesthesia and will be asleep during the surgery. The surgeon will make a small incision below the belly button, put the intestines back into the abdominal cavity and close the hole in the abdominal muscle.
The surgeon will use stitches that dissolve on the inside and Steri-Strips or Dermabond (skin glue) on the outside to keep the skin together to heal. Most children can go home the same day of surgery.
After surgery for an umbilical hernia
After the surgery, your child will be in the recovery room. It could take 30 minutes or longer for your child to wake up. You may be able to join your child in the recovery room once awake.
Anesthesia side effects may include:
- Feeling grumpy
- Upset stomach and throwing up
- Sore throat
- Feeling dizzy
Your child may have some discomfort and pain after surgery. We can start treatment for pain in the recovery room with Tylenol and Ibuprofen and typically recommend these two medications for home pain control.
Why choose us for treatment of an umbilical hernia?
At Children’s Hospital Colorado, treating kids is what we do. Our surgeons are specially trained and experienced in the surgical care of children. Our pediatric anesthesiologists are specially trained to keep kids safe during surgery. Before surgery, parents can meet the anesthesiologists to ask questions and ease concerns about the process.
Because we diagnose and treat so many hernias in infants, we can identify the condition early to help monitor it and avoid complications.