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Umbilical hernia repair and how to recognise the symptoms

Umbilical hernia symptoms are usually a small lump in, above or below the 'belly button". Sometimes you can push the umbilical hernia back in but often not.


An umbilical hernia can occur at any age. An umbilical hernia is usually a protrusion of fat (not bowel) and results from a weakness in the abdominal wall muscle sheath.

The umbilical hernia defect (hole) is often very small and so the hernia is not always reducible (able to push back in).

When the defect is larger it may be possible to push the hernia back in when you lie down. An umbilical hernia can occasionally strangulate and need urgent surgery but this is uncommon.

Repairing the umbilical hernia is very straight forward and easily performed under local anaesthetic in about 25 minutes.

Patients can usually drive the next day, return to work within 48 hours and are more comfortable than inguinal hernia surgery patients, often needing little in the way of pain killers.

Umbilical Hernia Surgical Repair

An umbilical hernia is easily repaired under local anaesthetic in about 25 minutes.

A small transverse incision (better cosmesis than a vertical incision) below the umbilicus (belly button) is made. The hernia sac is often quite small and sometimes can simply be pushed back in.

A small ProGrip™ mesh is then inserted behind the sheath and the sheath repaired over the mesh for a double layer repair.

If the defect is very small a mesh is not needed and a couple of stitches will often be all that's needed.

Patients can leave hospital about 30 minutes after surgery (one of our patients then cycled home 10 miles!).

" The team at the Oxford Hernia Clinic are extremely professional and very friendly. During my consultation the surgeon explained how my operation would proceed and gave me a booklet which also contained this information. On the day of my operation I was nervous but everyone was so friendly that I was put at ease immediately. The surgeon went through my operation procedure again and answered all my questions. Everyone was so professional. I can't praise them enough. "

Umbilical Hernia Patient BW Jan 2018

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