Umbilical hernias develop in and around the area of the belly button or navel. This is an area of natural weakness where blood vessels of the fetal umbilical cord exited through the muscle of the abdominal wall. Hernias can occur in this area of weakness at any time from birth through late adulthood. They present as a deformity of the belly button (creating an ‘outie’ instead of a normal ‘innie’ navel) and an associated bulge, along with possible pain or discomfort. If intestine becomes trapped within the hernia (incarceration or strangulation), urgent surgery is needed.
For small hernias, we usually repair them through a very small incision, generally just below the umbilicus, and the defect or opening closed with stitches or with a small mesh.
For large umbilical hernias, we favor robotic minimally invasive surgical repair. It is performed using 3 tiny incisions to introduce a camera and instruments and repair the hernia with a mesh. This results in less pain and a faster recovery.
Our surgeons will discuss with you the best option for your particular hernia. Our umbilical hernia repair surgeries are done as outpatient procedures. Our patients are discharged shortly after the surgery with minimal discomfort and can actually return to normal activities in a few days with minimal restrictions.