Umbilical hernia repair
An umbilical hernia is a protrusion of the lining of the abdomen together with abdominal organs (omentum, small or large intestine) through the muscle of the abdominal wall. Umbilical hernias can be primary or recurrent after previous operations. If left untreated, a hernia can become incarcerated and can cause undesirable complications.
How Is the Surgery Performed?
An umbilical hernia repair is done under general anesthesia. Time in surgery depends on a surgical approach and the size of the hernia. It takes from 30 minutes to 3 hours to complete.
To repair an umbilical hernia, the surgeon can employ either an open or a laparoscopic approach.
In an open approach, the hernia can be repaired using the tissues of the patient or a special synthetic mesh. A repair with autologous tissues is recommended when the umbilical hernia is up to 2 cm in diameter. For large defects, it is recommended to repair the hernia by using a synthetic mesh as it reduces the likelihood of hernia reoccurrence. During an open operation, an incision, the length of which depends on the size of the hernia, is placed.
In a laparoscopic approach, the repair is always done by using a special synthetic mesh. A laparoscopic approach allows patients to resume daily routine activities sooner, shortens recovery time, and reduces the risk of postoperative wound complications as compared with open (laparotomic) procedures. Small incisions are placed in the abdominal wall, and a tiny laparoscopic video camera and surgical instruments are inserted through these incisions into the abdominal cavity. The abdominal cavity is inflated with CO2 gas, which creates a working space for a surgeon. The surgeon performs all surgical manipulations while watching them on a video screen.
What Should Be Known After Surgery?
- The surgical wound should be redressed every second day, and the sutures are removed after 7-12 days;
- The surgical incisions should be kept dry for 5 days after the operation;
- The patient should avoid constipation;
- Strenuous physical activity should be avoided for 2 weeks up to 1 month; it depends on the surgical approach.