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The Repair of an Umbilical Hernia During Lap-band Surgery

written by: Lashan Clarke • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 4/30/2011

The use of Lap-Band surgery is ideal as one of the treatment for severe obesity in people who have tried other methods. In some cases, a surgeon may choose to carry out umbilical hernia repair during Lap-Band surgery to correct a known or unknown hernia.

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    Umbilical Hernias

    Umbilical hernia is a condition that is commonly seen in young children and babies. However, someone at any age can develop this form of hernia. An umbilical hernia occurs surrounding the “belly button." This is the site of the previous umbilical cord and where the baby is attached to the mother during pregnancy. This area is also weak, and in some cases the muscle wall will not close properly resulting in a hernia.

    In adults, an umbilical hernia is commonly seen in pregnant women or those who have just given birth. The pregnancy and force of labor can weaken this part of the abdominal wall. In other risk factors, obese people might also develop an umbilical hernia as the abdomen expands with increasing weight.

    It is more likely that the umbilical hernia in children is a temporary condition. Usually surgery is not needed in these situations, as most umbilical hernias in babies and children will correct itself by the age of 4 years old.

    There are quite a few complications associated with umbilical hernias. There is an increased risk that parts of the bowel may become trapped in the hernia, leading to a surgical emergency.

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    Lap-Band Surgery

    Lap-Band surgery is a form of operation that is used in some people to help in weight loss. What the surgeon does during Lap-Band surgery is place a band around the opening of the stomach. As a result the opening of the stomach is slightly constricted to allow less food to enter.

    As time goes by, the person will eat less food and will feel full in a shorter amount of time. As a result, they will lose weight. Lap-Band surgery is great for someone who is experiencing obesity and has a tendency to overeat. By using this method, the surgeon does not have to place cuts or staples into the stomach for the person to achieve weight loss.

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    Umbilical Hernia Repair During Lap-Band Surgery

    For some people who have been scheduled for Lap-Band surgery, they might discover that the surgeon will also like to repair their umbilical hernia during this time. Umbilical hernia repair during Lap-Band surgery is quite convenient for the person as they will not need to schedule a separate time to have the Lap-Band surgery completed.

    Usually the Lap-Band procedure is completed using laparoscopic surgery, which is used to describe a procedure whereby small incisions are made and instruments are inserted through the belly button to carry out the surgery. The surgeon will need to use the umbilical area and can detect a hernia beforehand. Even if it is not known that you have an umbilical hernia, many surgeons may choose to repair it during banding surgery and will discuss this with you beforehand.

    Therefore, it is possible for the surgeon to repair an umbilical hernia during Lap-Band surgery as the hernia can be discovered when the banding operation is started. He will then only need to close the incision to tighten the umbilical area again.