Dr AvinashTank, is a super-specialist (MCh) Laparoscopic Gastro-intestinal Surgeon,

Umbilical Hernia Surgery

Celebrities who have suffered from Hernia

Amitabh Bachchan

In 2012, legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan underwent hernia surgery after visiting the hosiptal due to abdominal pain. According to sources, he was operated upon for bilateral inguinal hernia. (Source)

Dwayne Johnson

In an interview, the actor revealed that due to a wrestling injury from a match in 2013 against John Cena, he had to undergo a triple hernia surgery and hence can no longer workout to have six-pack abs. (Source) 

Denise Richards

Back in 2019, Denise Richards revealed to her followers on social media how she quietly underwent an emergency procedure for four hernias. Re-posting a slideshow shared by her husband, Aaron Phypers, Richards opened up about realizing she should get help rather than continue to try to power through. (Source) 

Amazing Facts About Umbilical Hernia

  • Common Occurrence: Umbilical hernias are one of the most common types of hernias, especially in infants and young children. They occur when the abdominal wall near the belly button (umbilicus) weakens, allowing abdominal contents to protrude through the weakened area. (Source)
  • Infantile Spontaneous Closure: In many cases, umbilical hernias in infants tend to close on their own without the need for surgery. This is because the abdominal muscles naturally strengthen and the hernia resolves as the child grows. However, if the hernia persists beyond the age of 4 or 5, medical intervention may be necessary. (Source)
  • Common in Women: Umbilical hernias are more common in women, particularly during or after pregnancy. The increased pressure on the abdominal wall during pregnancy can lead to the development of an umbilical hernia. In most cases, these hernias resolve on their own after childbirth. (Source)

4 Reasons for Early Treatment of Umbilical Hernia

  1. Prevention of Complications: While most umbilical hernias are harmless and do not cause any discomfort, there is a risk of complications such as incarceration and strangulation. These occur when a part of the intestine becomes trapped or twisted within the hernia, leading to restricted blood flow and potential tissue damage. Prompt treatment can prevent these complications from occurring.
  2. Pain Relief and Discomfort: Some individuals with umbilical hernias may experience pain or discomfort, especially when the hernia becomes larger or gets trapped. Early treatment can help alleviate pain and discomfort associated with the hernia, improving the individual’s quality of life.
  3. Cosmetic Concerns: For many people, the appearance of an umbilical hernia can be a source of self-consciousness or embarrassment. Early treatment can help address the cosmetic concerns associated with the hernia, allowing individuals to feel more confident and comfortable in their appearance.
  4. Facilitation of Physical Activity: In some cases, umbilical hernias can restrict physical activities, especially in children or individuals involved in sports or physically demanding jobs. Early treatment can restore the normal function of the abdominal muscles and allow individuals to engage in their desired activities without restrictions.

Complications of Untreated Umbilical Hernia

  1. Incarceration: If an umbilical hernia is left untreated, there is a risk of the hernia becoming incarcerated, meaning that the contents of the hernia become trapped and unable to be pushed back into the abdominal cavity. This can lead to severe pain, discomfort, and potentially life-threatening complications.
  2. Strangulation: In some cases, an untreated umbilical hernia can progress to strangulation, where the blood supply to the hernia contents is cut off. Strangulation can cause severe pain, tissue damage, and infection. It is a medical emergency that requires immediate surgical intervention.
  3. Peritonitis: If the hernia contents become trapped and eventually rupture, it can lead to peritonitis, which is inflammation and infection of the lining of the abdominal cavity. Peritonitis is a serious condition that requires urgent medical attention and can be life-threatening if left untreated.
  4. Cosmetic concerns: Although not a life-threatening complication, an untreated umbilical hernia can cause cosmetic concerns, particularly in cases where the hernia becomes larger or more visible. This can lead to self-consciousness and impact a person’s body image and self-esteem.

What is Umbilical Hernia?

An umbilical hernia occurs when a portion of the intestine or fatty tissue protrudes through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles near the navel (belly button). This type of hernia is commonly seen in infants but can also occur in adults, particularly those who are overweight or have undergone abdominal surgery.

Risk Factors to develop Umbilical Hernia

  1. Age: Umbilical hernias are more common in infants and young children. Their abdominal muscles may not have fully developed, making them more prone to hernias. In adults, the risk of umbilical hernia increases with age, as the abdominal muscles weaken over time.
  2. Obesity: Excess weight and obesity can put increased pressure on the abdominal muscles, making them more susceptible to hernias.
  3. Pregnancy: The increased pressure on the abdomen during pregnancy can weaken the abdominal muscles and contribute to the development of umbilical hernias.
  4. Chronic cough or sneezing: Conditions that cause persistent coughing or sneezing, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or allergies, can strain the abdominal muscles and increase the risk of developing a hernia.
  5. Previous abdominal surgery: Scars from previous abdominal surgeries can weaken the abdominal muscles and increase the likelihood of developing an umbilical hernia near the incision site.
  6. Ascites: Ascites is the accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity, often associated with liver disease. The increased pressure from the fluid can contribute to the development of hernias.
  7. Family history: There may be a genetic predisposition to developing umbilical hernias. If a close family member has had an umbilical hernia, the risk may be higher.

Symptoms of Umbilical Hernia

Symptoms of an umbilical hernia may include-
  • A bulge or swelling near the navel, especially when coughing or straining, 
  • Discomfort or pain at the site of the hernia, and 
  • An enlarged belly button. 
If you experience persistent symptoms or notice changes in the size or color of the hernia, it is important to consult a doctor for a proper evaluation.

Diagnosis of Umbilical Hernia

Diagnosing an umbilical hernia typically involves a physical examination by a healthcare professional. During the examination, the doctor will carefully inspect the area around the belly button to check for any protrusions or abnormalities. The following steps are typically involved in the diagnosis of an umbilical hernia:
  1. Medical History: The doctor will ask about the patient’s medical history, including any symptoms experienced and any previous hernias or surgeries.
  2. Physical Examination: The doctor will visually inspect the belly button area and may gently press on the abdomen to feel for any bulging or protrusion. The examination helps determine the size, location, and characteristics of the hernia.
  3. Observation of Symptoms: The doctor will evaluate any symptoms associated with the hernia, such as pain, discomfort, or changes in appearance or size.
In most cases, the diagnosis of an umbilical hernia can be made based on a physical examination. However, in some situations, additional tests may be recommended to confirm the diagnosis or evaluate the severity of the hernia. These tests may include:
  1. Imaging Tests: In certain cases, imaging tests such as ultrasound or computed tomography (CT) scan may be ordered to provide a detailed view of the hernia and surrounding structures. These tests can help determine the size and location of the hernia and assess any complications or abnormalities.
  2. Intra-abdominal Pressure Measurements: In some cases, especially if the hernia is large or there are concerns about increased pressure within the abdomen, intra-abdominal pressure measurements may be performed to evaluate the severity of the hernia and guide treatment decisions.

Treatment of Umbilical Hernia

The treatment of umbilical hernias typically involves surgical repair to strengthen the weakened abdominal muscles and close the hernia defect. Laparoscopic surgery, also known as minimally invasive or keyhole surgery, has emerged as a preferred approach for umbilical hernia repair due to its many advantages.

Laparoscopic Umbilical Hernia Surgery

During laparoscopic umbilical hernia surgery, several small incisions are made near the hernia site. A laparoscope, which is a thin tube with a camera, is inserted through one of the incisions, allowing the surgeon to visualize the hernia on a monitor. Specialized instruments are then used to place a mesh over the hernia defect and secure it in place. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia.

Benefits of Laparoscopic Umbilical Hernia Surgery

  1. Minimally invasive: Laparoscopic surgery involves smaller incisions, resulting in less scarring and reduced postoperative pain.
  2. Faster recovery: Patients who undergo laparoscopic surgery for umbilical hernias generally experience a quicker recovery time compared to open surgery.
  3. Reduced risk of complications: Laparoscopic procedures have a lower risk of infection, wound complications, and hernia recurrence compared to open surgery.
  4. Improved cosmetic outcome: The smaller incisions used in laparoscopic surgery result in less visible scarring and better cosmetic results.

Preparation for Umbilical Hernia Surgery

Preparation for umbilical hernia surgery typically involves the following steps:
  1. Consultation with a Surgeon: The first step is to schedule a consultation with a surgeon who specializes in hernia repair. During this consultation, the surgeon will evaluate the hernia, review your medical history, and discuss the surgical options available to you.
  2. Medical Evaluation: Prior to the surgery, your surgeon may request certain medical evaluations to assess your overall health. This may include blood tests, imaging studies (such as an ultrasound or CT scan), and an electrocardiogram (ECG) to evaluate your heart function.
  3. Medication Review: It is important to inform your surgeon about any medications you are currently taking, including prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, and supplements. Your surgeon may provide specific instructions regarding which medications to continue or discontinue before the surgery.
  4. Fasting: You will be instructed to fast for a certain period of time before the surgery. This is typically about 8 hours for solid food and 2 hours for clear liquids. Fasting helps to minimize the risk of complications during the procedure.
  5. Anesthesia Consultation: If general anesthesia or sedation will be used during the surgery, you may need to schedule a separate consultation with an anesthesiologist. The anesthesiologist will review your medical history and discuss the anesthesia options available to you.
  6. Lifestyle Adjustments: Your surgeon may recommend certain lifestyle adjustments leading up to the surgery. This may include quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and engaging in regular physical activity to optimize your overall health and reduce the risk of complications.
  7. Preoperative Instructions: Your surgeon will provide you with specific preoperative instructions to follow. This may include guidelines on when to stop eating and drinking before the surgery, instructions on showering with antibacterial soap, and information about any required bowel preparation.
It is important to carefully follow all the instructions provided by your surgeon to ensure a successful surgery and smooth recovery. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to discuss them with your healthcare team.

Anaesthesia for Umbilical Hernia Surgery

During hernia surgery, anesthesia is administered to ensure the patient’s comfort and safety throughout the procedure. The type of anesthesia used will depend on various factors, including the type and location of the hernia, the extent of the surgery, the patient’s overall health, and the surgeon’s preference. The two main types of anesthesia commonly used for hernia surgery are general anesthesia and local anesthesia with sedation.
  1. General Anesthesia: In general anesthesia, the patient is completely unconscious and unaware during the surgery. It is administered by an anesthesiologist through intravenous medications and inhaled gases. General anesthesia allows for complete relaxation of the patient’s muscles, ensuring optimal surgical conditions. The patient is closely monitored throughout the procedure to maintain vital signs and ensure safety.
  2. Local Anesthesia with Sedation: In some cases, hernia surgery may be performed under local anesthesia with the addition of sedation. Local anesthesia involves injecting a numbing medication into the surgical area to block pain sensation. Sedation is administered through intravenous medications to help the patient relax and remain comfortable during the procedure. With this type of anesthesia, the patient is usually awake but feels drowsy and relaxed.
The choice of anesthesia depends on various factors, including the type and complexity of the hernia, the patient’s medical condition, and the surgeon’s recommendation. The anesthesiologist will evaluate the patient’s medical history, perform a physical examination, and consider any specific risks or concerns before determining the most suitable anesthesia approach.It is important for patients to discuss their medical history, allergies, and any concerns or fears related to anesthesia with their healthcare team. The anesthesiologist will explain the anesthesia plan, discuss potential risks and side effects, and address any questions or concerns. Patient safety and comfort are the top priorities during hernia surgery, and the anesthesia team will closely monitor the patient’s vital signs and adjust the anesthesia as needed throughout the procedure.

Recovery after Umbilical Hernia Surgery

After undergoing umbilical hernia surgery, proper recovery and post-operative care are essential to ensure a smooth healing process. The recovery period may vary from person to person, but here are some general guidelines to follow:
  1. Hospital Stay: Most umbilical hernia surgeries are performed as outpatient procedures, meaning you can usually go home on the same day. However, in some cases, an overnight hospital stay may be necessary, especially if there are any complications or if the surgery was extensive.
  2. Pain Management: It is common to experience some pain or discomfort at the incision site after surgery. Your doctor will prescribe pain medications to help manage any post-operative pain. Take the medications as instructed and report any severe or worsening pain to your healthcare provider.
  3. Incision Care: Proper care of the surgical incision is important for preventing infection and promoting healing. Keep the incision area clean and dry, following your surgeon’s instructions. Avoid soaking in baths or swimming until your healthcare provider gives you the green light. You may need to change the dressing regularly, and it’s important to follow any specific wound care instructions provided.
  4. Physical Activity: During the initial recovery period, it’s important to limit physical activity and avoid strenuous activities that may strain the abdominal muscles. Your surgeon will provide guidance on when you can resume regular activities and exercise. Gentle movements and light walking are usually encouraged to promote blood circulation and prevent blood clots. However, avoid heavy lifting and intense workouts until cleared by your healthcare provider.
  5. Diet and Nutrition: Follow any dietary instructions provided by your surgeon or dietitian. It is common to start with a liquid or soft diet initially and gradually transition back to a regular diet as tolerated. Stay hydrated and consume fiber-rich foods to prevent constipation, which can be a common side effect of surgery and pain medications.
  6. Follow-up Appointments: It is important to attend all scheduled follow-up appointments with your surgeon. These visits allow your surgeon to monitor your healing progress, remove any stitches or staples if necessary, and address any concerns or complications that may arise.
  7. Signs of Complications: Be aware of any signs or symptoms that may indicate complications, such as excessive bleeding, severe pain, redness, swelling, pus or discharge from the incision site, fever, or difficulty passing urine or stools. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
Remember, everyone’s recovery may differ, and it’s important to follow your surgeon’s specific instructions for a successful recovery. By taking care of yourself, following post-operative guidelines, and seeking medical attention if needed, you can support a smooth and healthy recovery after umbilical hernia surgery.

Risks and side effects of Umbilical Hernia Surgery

  1. Risk of complications: Although laparoscopic surgery is generally safe, there is a small risk of complications such as infection, bleeding, or injury to surrounding tissues.
  2. Recurrence of the hernia: While laparoscopic surgery has a low recurrence rate, there is still a possibility of the hernia recurring in some cases.
  3. Postoperative discomfort: Some patients may experience mild discomfort or bloating after the surgery, which can typically be managed with pain medication and a proper recovery plan.

80 years old, heart patient. Nevertheless, a ruptured gall bladder was successfully treated with binoculars.

Celebrities who have suffered from Hernia

Amitabh Bachchan

In 2012, legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan underwent hernia surgery after visiting the hosiptal due to abdominal pain. According to sources, he was operated upon for bilateral inguinal hernia.

Dwayne Johnson

In an interview, the actor revealed that due to a wrestling injury from a match in 2013 against John Cena, he had to undergo a triple hernia surgery and hence can no longer workout to have six-pack abs.

Denise Richards

Back in 2019, Denise Richards revealed to her followers on social media how she quietly underwent an emergency procedure for four hernias. Re-posting a slideshow shared by her husband, Aaron Phypers, Richards opened up about realizing she should get help rather than continue to try to power through.

Amazing Facts About Umbilical Hernia

Umbilical hernias are one of the most common types of hernias, especially in infants and young children. They occur when the abdominal wall near the belly button (umbilicus) weakens, allowing abdominal contents to protrude through the weakened area. (Source

In many cases, umbilical hernias in infants tend to close on their own without the need for surgery. This is because the abdominal muscles naturally strengthen and the hernia resolves as the child grows. However, if the hernia persists beyond the age of 4 or 5, medical intervention may be necessary. (Source

Umbilical hernias are more common in women, particularly during or after pregnancy. The increased pressure on the abdominal wall during pregnancy can lead to the development of an umbilical hernia. In most cases, these hernias resolve on their own after childbirth. (Source

4 Reasons for Early Treatment of Umbilical Hernia

Complications of Untreated Umbilical Hernia

What is Umbilical Hernia?

An umbilical hernia occurs when a portion of the intestine or fatty tissue protrudes through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles near the navel (belly button). This type of hernia is commonly seen in infants but can also occur in adults, particularly those who are overweight or have undergone abdominal surgery.

Risk Factors to develop Umbilical Hernia

  1. Age: Umbilical hernias are more common in infants and young children. Their abdominal muscles may not have fully developed, making them more prone to hernias. In adults, the risk of umbilical hernia increases with age, as the abdominal muscles weaken over time.
  2. Obesity: Excess weight and obesity can put increased pressure on the abdominal muscles, making them more susceptible to hernias.
  3. Pregnancy: The increased pressure on the abdomen during pregnancy can weaken the abdominal muscles and contribute to the development of umbilical hernias.
  4. Chronic cough or sneezing: Conditions that cause persistent coughing or sneezing, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or allergies, can strain the abdominal muscles and increase the risk of developing a hernia.
  5. Previous abdominal surgery: Scars from previous abdominal surgeries can weaken the abdominal muscles and increase the likelihood of developing an umbilical hernia near the incision site.
  6. Ascites: Ascites is the accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity, often associated with liver disease. The increased pressure from the fluid can contribute to the development of hernias.
  7. Family history: There may be a genetic predisposition to developing umbilical hernias. If a close family member has had an umbilical hernia, the risk may be higher.

Symptoms of Umbilical Hernia

Symptoms of an umbilical hernia may include-

  • A bulge or swelling near the navel, especially when coughing or straining, 
  • Discomfort or pain at the site of the hernia, and 
  • An enlarged belly button. 

If you experience persistent symptoms or notice changes in the size or color of the hernia, it is important to consult a doctor for a proper evaluation.

Treatment of Umbilical Hernia

The treatment of umbilical hernias typically involves surgical repair to strengthen the weakened abdominal muscles and close the hernia defect. Laparoscopic surgery, also known as minimally invasive or keyhole surgery, has emerged as a preferred approach for umbilical hernia repair due to its many advantages.

Diagnosis of Umbilical Hernia

Diagnosing an umbilical hernia typically involves a physical examination by a healthcare professional. During the examination, the doctor will carefully inspect the area around the belly button to check for any protrusions or abnormalities. The following steps are typically involved in the diagnosis of an umbilical hernia:

  1. Medical History: The doctor will ask about the patient’s medical history, including any symptoms experienced and any previous hernias or surgeries.
  2. Physical Examination: The doctor will visually inspect the belly button area and may gently press on the abdomen to feel for any bulging or protrusion. The examination helps determine the size, location, and characteristics of the hernia.
  3. Observation of Symptoms: The doctor will evaluate any symptoms associated with the hernia, such as pain, discomfort, or changes in appearance or size.

In most cases, the diagnosis of an umbilical hernia can be made based on a physical examination. However, in some situations, additional tests may be recommended to confirm the diagnosis or evaluate the severity of the hernia. These tests may include:

  1. Imaging Tests: In certain cases, imaging tests such as ultrasound or computed tomography (CT) scan may be ordered to provide a detailed view of the hernia and surrounding structures. These tests can help determine the size and location of the hernia and assess any complications or abnormalities.
  2. Intra-abdominal Pressure Measurements: In some cases, especially if the hernia is large or there are concerns about increased pressure within the abdomen, intra-abdominal pressure measurements may be performed to evaluate the severity of the hernia and guide treatment decisions.

Laparoscopic Incisional Hernia Surgery

During laparoscopic incisional hernia surgery, small incisions are made near the hernia site. A laparoscope, which is a thin tube with a camera, is inserted through one of the incisions, allowing the surgeon to view the abdominal cavity on a monitor. Specialized instruments are then used to repair the hernia by placing a mesh over the weakened area and securing it in place. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia.

Benefits of Laparoscopic Incisional Hernia Surgery

Preparation for Umbilical Hernia Surgery

Preparation for umbilical hernia surgery typically involves the following steps:

It is important to carefully follow all the instructions provided by your surgeon to ensure a successful surgery and smooth recovery. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to discuss them with your healthcare team.

Anaesthesia for Umbilical Hernia Surgery

During hernia surgery, anesthesia is administered to ensure the patient’s comfort and safety throughout the procedure. The type of anesthesia used will depend on various factors, including the type and location of the hernia, the extent of the surgery, the patient’s overall health, and the surgeon’s preference. The two main types of anesthesia commonly used for hernia surgery are general anesthesia and local anesthesia with sedation.

The choice of anesthesia depends on various factors, including the type and complexity of the hernia, the patient’s medical condition, and the surgeon’s recommendation. The anesthesiologist will evaluate the patient’s medical history, perform a physical examination, and consider any specific risks or concerns before determining the most suitable anesthesia approach. 

It is important for patients to discuss their medical history, allergies, and any concerns or fears related to anesthesia with their healthcare team. The anesthesiologist will explain the anesthesia plan, discuss potential risks and side effects, and address any questions or concerns. Patient safety and comfort are the top priorities during hernia surgery, and the anesthesia team will closely monitor the patient’s vital signs and adjust the anesthesia as needed throughout the procedure.

Recovery after Umbilical Hernia Surgery

After undergoing umbilical hernia surgery, proper recovery and post-operative care are essential to ensure a smooth healing process. The recovery period may vary from person to person, but here are some general guidelines to follow:

Remember, everyone’s recovery may differ, and it’s important to follow your surgeon’s specific instructions for a successful recovery. By taking care of yourself, following post-operative guidelines, and seeking medical attention if needed, you can support a smooth and healthy recovery after umbilical hernia surgery.

Risks and side effects of Umbilical Hernia Surgery

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