Umbilical Hernia Detroit


The umbilicus or “belly button” is the site where the placenta once entered the body. This small hole usually closes some time after birth, early in life, but is a weak spot in the abdominal wall which can re open as an adult and allow a protrusion to push through it.

Small umbilical hernias are often not even perceived and people live without any difficulty. If the hernia enlarges and causes disomfort then repair is indicated. Like many hernias, it will only tend to enlarge, prompting an larger surgery to repair it. Even a small umbilical hernia can be dangerous, as it may allow a knuckle of small intestine to protrude throught the hole and become strangulated. This potential surgical emergency can be avoided with elective repair.

The operation to repair an umbilical hernia is usually an outpatient (same day) procedure. The type of anesthesia required varies from sedation with local injection, spinal or regional, epidural, or even general. A small incision is made near the umbilicus and if the defect is large enough, a mesh made specifically for this location, is often placed. This allows the repair to be done with no tension on the tissues and so recurrence rate is low and pain is usually minimal. Bruising and swelling around the area is common. The skin is closed with absorbable sutures under the skin. Steri Strips are placed and a dressing is placed atop. This dressing should be removed the next day. Leave the steri strips in place for several days and routine hygeine is sufficient for routine wound care. Follow up appointment is recommended at two weeks.

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