What is an Umbilical Hernia?
An umbilical hernia occurs when bowel protrudes through an opening in the abdominal wall within the umbilicus (belly button). Most umbilical hernias do not require surgery because they go away by themselves. It is normal for the bulge to get larger before the hole closes. The skin stretches as the bulge grows but the skin remains strong. It will not rupture. You should not tape a coin or cover the childs belly button in an attempt to keep it from protruding. This will not work and may irritate the skin.
What Can I Expect from Surgery?
If the umbilical hernia is still present by your child's third birthday, you will be referred to a surgeon to fix it. A small incision is made in the belly button and the opening is closed. Sutures are not used on the outside so there are none to take out. A fairly large dressing will cover the belly button. This needs to stay on for 5 days.
The operation is done on an outpatient basis. Your child goes to the hospital on the day of surgery and goes home when he is recovered. Lab work is not necessary unless your child has other medical problems.
Plan on a total of 3-5 days off work including the surgical day. This will allow for 2 quiet days after the operation
Bring for your child:
Bring for Yourself:
It is best, when possible, to make arrangements for siblings to stay at home on the day of surgery, in order for you to participate fully in your child's care.
Care of the Incision:
There will be an incision in the belly button which will be covered by a fairly bulky dressing. Leave this in place for 5 days and then remove it. No sutures go through the skin layer, so none need to be removed.
Feeding Your Child After Surgery:
Your child may have a regular diet for age, however his/her appetite may not be normal for 24-36 hours. This is normal. If so, give frequent small amounts of clear liquids (juice, soda, sugar water).
Constipation is common after surgery. Anesthesia and pain medicine (Roxicet) can contribute to constipation. Give your child plenty of clear liquids after surgery. Call the office if you child goes longer than 48 hours without a bowel movement.
Sponge bathe only until the dressing is removed.
Your child must be closely supervised to avoid accidents for 14 days. He may return to school 48-72 hours after surgery. No physical education classes for 4 weeks.
Call 410-328-5730 for any questions or if there is:
*If you have any questions about the surgery, please call: the nurse practitioner or surgeon caring for your child: 410-328-5730.