Umbilical Hernia Repair Surgery in Anchorage, AK

What Is an Umbilical Hernia?

An umbilical hernia is a type of bulge that occurs when a section of your intestine or other abdominal cavity tissue sticks out through a weak spot in your abdominal muscles near the belly button (umbilicus).

Open Umbilical Hernia Repairs (Belly Button Hernia)

Open umbilical hernia repair surgery is performed under general anesthesia where the patient remains fully asleep and doesn’t feel the pain. Your surgeon makes an incision near the hernia site. A single 2-3 cm long cut is made right below the belly button. The size of this incision depends on the hernia size and location.

Once the incision is made, the bulging tissue or hernia is pushed back into the abdomen, after which, either suture or mesh is used to close the muscle layers at the weak abdominal wall. The surgeon may choose either suture-only repair or open mesh repair depending on several conditions of the patient. A suture-only repair is often used for small defects, while an open mesh repair is often used for complex hernia repairs. An open mesh repair also reduces the risk of recurrence of the hernia.

Umbilical hernia repair surgery is a procedure to fix umbilical hernia conditions that commonly occur in children, and sometimes in adults. Umbilical hernias in children usually go away on their own. In adults, they are typically non-reducible that are more likely to need surgical repair. Dr. Madhu Prasad - a well-known and trusted general surgeon in Anchorage, AK and his team are experienced in treating umbilical hernias with successful outcomes.

How Does an Umbilical Hernia Occur?

In infants, an umbilical hernia develops after birth when the small opening in the abdominal muscles, which allows the umbilical cord to pass through a baby’s abdomen, doesn’t close right after the birth. This develops a weak spot near the belly button in the abdominal wall that makes the baby susceptible to an umbilical hernia. In adults, an umbilical hernia usually develops because of too much abdominal pressure. Here are several things that can contribute to this pressure:

  • Obesity
  • Excess fluid in the abdominal cavity
  • Multiple pregnancies
  • Previous abdominal surgery
  • Peritoneal dialysis that involves the use of the lining of your abdomen

When Do You Need Umbilical Hernia Surgery?

Umbilical hernias in children should go away on their own by age 2 or 3. However, surgery may be recommended if an umbilical hernia is there by the fourth year or longer, or if it is showing symptoms like:

  • Pain
  • Vomiting
  • Tenderness, swelling, or discoloration at the site of the hernia

An umbilical hernia in adults usually does not heal on its own. It keeps growing larger over time and may require surgical repair.

How Is an Umbilical Hernia Diagnosed?

Physical examination and ultrasound should be enough to diagnose an umbilical hernia. In some cases, CT scans are used to screen for complications.

How Is Umbilical Hernia Surgery Performed?

Umbilical hernia repair can be performed as an open or laparoscopic surgery depending on the size of the hernia, the recovery time, and other factors.

  • In open surgery, a single 2-3 cm long cut is made right below the belly button. The fatty lump or bulge is pushed back in the tummy. Then, the muscle layers at the weak abdominal wall are stitched together.
  • In laparoscopic surgery, two-three small incisions are made to push the laparoscope inside the abdomen. A small video camera is attached to the end of the laparoscope which guides the surgeon to carefully repair the hernia by looking at it on a video monitor.

How Long Do You Have to Stay in the Hospital After Umbilical Hernia Surgery?

Umbilical hernia repair is an outpatient surgery which means you can go home the same day of the operation. If you have other medical conditions, or if you show any health complications, such as nausea, vomiting, bleeding, or infection after surgery, you may stay longer.

What Is the Recovery Time for Umbilical Hernia Surgery?

Usually, you can return to work after 2-3 days of the surgery. However, you won’t be able to climb, lift a weight of over 8-10 pounds, and perform any other strenuous task for at least 4-6 weeks.

Also Read: Inguinal Hernia Surgery in Anchorage, AK

Also Read: Major Surgery and Minor Surgery - What Are the Differences

Why Choose Us for Umbilical Hernia Repair Surgery?

At Far North Surgery, we are committed to providing quality care and shorter recovery time to our patients. Our team is well-qualified and experienced and uses only the advanced surgical equipment and procedures for umbilical hernia treatment. Call us at 907-276-3676 to get the best treatment option for umbilical hernias, or answers to any questions you may have. You can also fill out our 1-minute contact form here.


Dr. Madhu Prasad, M.D., FACS

Dr. Madhu Prasad has over 30+ years of experience working as a general surgeon and surgical oncologist and providing the highest level of care in Anchorage, Alaska. He believes in providing quality care to patients and their families. Inspired by compassion and humanism, Dr. Prasad and his team work for the well-being of their patients.

Surgery Center of Anchorage

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