Children Umbilical Hernia Procedure
An umbilical hernia is a protrusion of the navel or belly button. Sometimes referred to as an “outy,” the hernia many contain abdominal matter such as fat or intestine. Many umbilical hernias will close on their own by the time the child is two years old.
Occasionally, large umbilical hernias, or those with a wide base, will not close on their own and should be repaired before the child reaches the age of two.
Umbilical Hernia Information
Causes of Umbilical Hernia
Umbilical hernia, unlike inguinal hernias, do not present a major risk of incarceration (the intestines become stuck in this space) and can be repaired any time from the ago of two to the point the child is ready for school. If the hernia does become incarcerated, and does not go away when gentle pressure is applied which the child is laying down, contact us immediately. Pain and vomiting may occur with this condition.
Hernias should be repaired before children start school since the child may be excluded from sports if these hernias are discovered during a physical examination.
Umbilical Hernia Procedure
Umbilical hernia repair involves a short operation usually performed in an outpatient surgery center. Your child will be scheduled for surgery from our office. Anesthesia requirements include a period of not eating or drink before the operation. The duration will depend on the child’s age. The child undergoes a general anesthetic which puts him or her completely to sleep and prevents sensation of pain. The full risks of anesthesia will be further explained by the anesthesiologists.
The operation consists of cleansing the area with an antibiotic solution, covering the surround area with sterile sheets, and make an incision near the belly button, usually underneath. The repair is accomplished by placing stiches on both sides of the hole (the hernia) to bring the edges together. We then tack down the belly button to make it look like an “inny”.
Excess skin is usually left in place. Over time this leave the best cosmetic appearance. A sterile dressing is placed over the operation site. The dressing can be removed in four or five days. The child can take a shower but should wait seven days before bathing in a tub.
Post Operation Care
Once the operation is completed, your child will be taken to the recovery room where monitoring will continue for a short period. This is done to assure that waking up from anesthetic is accomplished safely. You will be able to go to this are so that waking up is less fearful for the child.
We ask that the child refrain from heavy activity until seen for the follow-up visit which is usually in one to two weeks. This allows for the repair to become a bit stronger before heavy stress is placed on the repair.
Pain management consists of a local injection performed during surgery which helps numb the site for 6-8 hours and then oral pain medication such as Tylenol or Tylenol with Codeine.