Paraumbilical and Umbilical Hernias

What is a Hernia?

Hernias occur when an organ or tissue pushes through a weak spot in the surrounding muscle or connective tissue. While inguinal hernias are the most common type, ventral hernias are prevalent as well, often occurring due to similar risk factors such as aging, obesity, previous surgeries, or abdominal trauma. Read more about Hernia Surgery here.

Hernia Surgery Sydney Surgery inguinal femoral direct indirect

What is a Paraumbilical and Umbilical Hernia?

Paraumbilical and umbilical hernias are types of hernias that occur in the abdominal region near umbilicus (belly button).

Causes of Paraumbilical and Umbilical Hernias

Both paraumbilical and umbilical hernias can develop due to similar factors, including:

  • Weakness in the abdominal wall muscles.
  • Increased abdominal pressure from factors such as obesity, pregnancy, or chronic coughing.
  • Prior abdominal surgeries or trauma.
  • Inherent genetic weakness

Why is Surgical Repair Required?

Surgical repair is often necessary for paraumbilical and umbilical hernias to prevent potential complications such as bowel obstruction, incarceration, or strangulation. These complications can lead to severe pain, tissue damage, and life-threatening conditions if left untreated.

Surgical Repair of Paraumbilical and Umbilical Hernias

There are several approaches to repairing an umbilical hernia, each tailored to the individual patient's condition and the surgeon's preference. The two primary methods are open surgical repair and laparoscopic repair. Here's a brief overview of each:

Open Umbilical Hernia Surgical Repair:

  • Incision: In open surgical repair, the surgeon makes an incision near the umbilicus (belly button) to access the hernia.
  • Hernia Reduction: The protruding tissue or organs are gently pushed back into the abdominal cavity.

Laparoscopic Hernia Repair

This repair is good for small umbilical hernia as there is very little postoperative pain and a small incision.

  • Small Incisions: Laparoscopic repair is a minimally invasive approach that involves making several small incisions in the abdomen.
  • Advantages: Laparoscopic repair results in paradoxically postoperative pain, more surgery. It also offers excellent cosmetic outcomes due to smaller incisions.
  • Disadvantages: Laparoscopic repair may not be suitable for all patients, especially those with extensive scar tissue or certain medical conditions that increase the risk of complications. Also it carries a higher chance of bowel injury compared to open repair.

Both open and laparoscopic approaches to umbilical hernia repair have their advantages and disadvantages, and the choice between them depends on factors such as the size and complexity of the hernia, the patient's overall health. Dr Golani will discuss the options with you in your consultation to determine the most appropriate treatment plan.

Recovery from Hernia Surgery

Following paraumbilical and umbilical hernia surgery, patients are advised to:

  • Advantages:Use over-the-counter pain relief medications as needed for discomfort.
  • Refrain from driving for at least five days post-surgery to ensure optimal recovery.
  • Avoid lifting weights exceeding 8kg for the first four weeks, gradually increasing to 15kg over the subsequent four weeks to prevent strain on the surgical site.

Important Points to Remember:

  • No driving for 5 days post-discharge from hospital
  • Your dressings are waterproof so you can shower as normal.
  • Do not sit/soak in a bath for 7 days.
  • Leave your dressings in place for 7 days and can be removed by the yourself
  • Bruising and intermittent pain may continue for a few days
  • Lifting weights may cause complications in your hernia repair. Limit lifting anything heavier than 8kgs for 4 weeks post-surgery. Additionally, you should not lift anything heavier than 15kgs for a further 4 weeks post-surgery
  • Use regular fibre supplement such a Metamucil will help avoid constipation
  • Walking unrestricted is allowed post discharge
  • Cycling/running/swimming is allowed 2 weeks post discharge
  • No special diet post-surgery is required to be followed.
  • Make an appointment to see Dr Golani 4 weeks post-surgery.

Improved Quality of Life

After successful paraumbilical and umbilical hernia repair, patients often experience significant improvements in their quality of life, including reduced pain, increased mobility, and enhanced overall well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions about Hernia Surgery

What If a Hernia Is Left Untreated?

It is important to note that a hernia will not improve without surgery. If a hernia is left untreated, it can lead to serious complications. Here are some potential consequences: