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Umbilical Hernia: When to Operate?

Umbilical Hernia: When to Operate?

What is Umbilical Hernia?

An umbilical hernia is a type of hernia that is located at the belly button. Umbilical hernias in adults are more often acquired due to an increased intraabdominal pressure that causes a tear or hole in the abdominal wall at the belly button.

The hernia has a sac that can contain part of the intestine, fat, or fluid. These tissues can stick out through an opening or a weak spot in the abdominal wall.

Umbilical hernias are more common in women who have been pregnant more than one time, in people who are overweight, in people who do a lot of physical activity, and in people who have had an abdominal operation. 

What are the Symptoms?

They are characterized by a bulge around the belly button that can become enlarged when laughing or coughing. They are usually painless in babies and children, however, in adults who develop it the most common symptoms are  pain, pressure  and some gastrointestinal discomfort.

When to operate?

Repairing the hernia can relieve pain and discomfort and even make the bulge go away. It is important to remember that the hernia will not go away on its own. It’s bets that you have surgery if:

  • Your bulge is very large
  • Your hernia is bothering you 

With time and the persistent intraabdominal pressure, the hole between the muscles can enlarge, making a risk for the intestines to get incarcerated, “trapped” or even strangulated resulting in serious complications requiring emergency surgery.

What is the Procedure of an Umbilical Hernia Surgery?

Umbilical hernias can be repaired simply without the need for mesh if they are small. For wide umbilical hernias, robotic hernia surgery offers less pain and faster recovery. 

The tissue that  enters the hernia sac is pushed back into the abdomen. The muscles and tissues around the navel are repaired, and the cut is closed with stitches. This can be accomplished through a small incision at your bellybutton or far away from it when performing robotic hernia repair.

If the surgeon considers it, a mesh can be placed in the weak to buttress the area before closing to prevent the hernia from recurring.

Key points to remember

  • Hernias do not go away on their own, on the contrary, they tend to grow overtime. 
  • Many doctors recommend surgery because it prevents a rare but serious problem called strangulation. This occurs when a part of the intestine or a portion of fatty tissue becomes trapped within the hernia and the blood supply is interrupted.

Dr. Arevalo is one of the best surgeons in Houston, Texas that can repair different types of hernias by using robotic hernia surgery, offering faster recovery and less pain. You can schedule an appointment to learn what is the best treatment for you.

Watch Dr. Arevalo's video to learn more about the types and causes of an umbilical hernia:

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