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List of Umbilical Hernia Operations

written by: VickieDawn • edited by: Emma Lloyd • updated: 8/22/2010

This article addresses the symptoms of umbilical hernias, causes, types of surgery and risks.

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    Umbilical hernias are the result of a sac that has formed behind the navel. The sac is part of the peritoneum, (a thin membrane that covers the abdomen) filled with intestine that has pushed through an opening in the abdominal muscle. It is most common among children that are either born with the condition or develop it shortly after birth.

    Umbilical hernias can affect adults as well as children. Adults acquire hernias through heavy lifting, pregnancy, obesity, fluid in the abdomen and excessive prolonged coughing.

    There are several types of umbilicial hernia operations to choose from.

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    Signs and Symptoms

    Infants show signs of an umbilical hernia when the area around the belly button protrudes, especially when crying. The bulge can be as large as two inches in diameter. A pediatrician will decide when surgery is necessary. Most children receive surgery by the age of four.

    Adults will notice a bulging around the navel area that will grow over time. Pain and discoloring around the area is sign that blood flow may be strained.

    An umbilical hernia operation is necessary if there is danger that intestinal strangulation is evident

    Infants show signs of an umbilical hernia when the area around the belly button protrudes, especially when crying. The bulge can be as large as two inches in diameter. A pediatrician will decide when surgery is necessary. Most children receive surgery by the age of four.

    Adults will notice a bulging around the navel area that will grow over time. Pain and discoloring around the area is sign that blood flow may be strained.

    An umbilical hernia operation is necessary if there is danger that intestinal strangulation is evident

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    Types of Umbilical Hernia Operations

    Tension Free Repair is a technique that uses mesh to close the opening in the muscle. It is placed under the hernia so tissue will grow over the mesh, reinforcing the strength of the repair. The surgery is conducted with a sedative and local anesthesia. Patient recovery is quick as patients are walking within 2 hours of surgery. In the absence of any complications, the patient returns home the same day. Children and adults are candidates for this type of surgery.

    Open abdominal surgery for umbilical hernia is performed under general anesthesia. The incision is made at the skin crease of the belly button. The sac is pushed below the muscle and then closed with dissolvable sutures. The under laying part of the skin is attached to the muscle. This gives a normal appearance of the navel. Sutures are used at the skin edge to close the wound.

    Surgery is the most practiced in the field and has proven to be affective.

    Laparoscopic Technique uses a very small incision and a trocar, (sharp puncturing instrument) directly over the umbilical hernia. A scope is inserted through the incision and the defect is closed with non-absorbable suture. The patient is administered general anesthesia. Surgery is completed within 40 minutes and the patient returns home the same day.

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    Risks

    Anesthesia can be a risk for children. Children with special needs such as Downs Syndrome can present a challenge with anesthesia, incubation and recovery. Infection is always a risk after any surgery.

    Adults can face anesthesia problems if they have preexisting conditions such as cardiovascular disease and emphysema. It is best to discuss the risks with the surgeon before deciding on the type of surgery and anesthesia.

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    References

    Medline Plus: Umbilical Hernia Repair: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002935.htm

    North Penn Hernia Institute: Umbilical Hernia: http://hernia.tripod.com/umbtech.html

    Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh: Umbilical Hernia Repair Surgery:

    http://www.chp.edu/cs/Satellite?c=eHA_Content_C&cid=1209404825420&pagename=CHP%2FeHA_Content_C%2FCHP%2FTemplate%2FCHP_Layout_04_Content_Page_Template

    U.S. National Library of Medicine: Laparoscopic umbilical herniorraphy: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10883992