Umbilical Herniorrhaphy

Herniorrhaphy is surgery to repair a hernia. A hernia is the protrusion of a part of an organ through an abdominal opening. An umbilical hernia means that your hernia is in the area around your navel. If the hernia is not repaired, the gap could get bigger. Your intestines or other tissues, such as fat, could get trapped in the gap. This can lead to other health problems, such as blocked intestines. If the hernia is fixed before problems set in, you may be allowed to go home the same day as the surgery (outpatient).


  • Allergies to food or medicine.

  • Medicines taken, including vitamins, herbs, eyedrops, over-the-counter medicines, and creams.

  • Use of steroids (by mouth or creams).

  • Previous problems with anesthetics or numbing medicines.

  • History of bleeding problems or blood clots.

  • Previous surgery.

  • Other health problems, including diabetes and kidney problems.

  • Possibility of pregnancy, if this applies.


  • Pain.

  • Excessive bleeding.

  • Hematoma. This is a pocket of blood that collects under the surgery site.

  • Infection at the surgery site.

  • Numbness at the surgery site.

  • Swelling and bruising.

  • Blood clots.

  • Intestinal damage (rare).

  • Scarring.

  • Skin damage.

  • Development of another hernia. This may require another surgery.


  • Ask your caregiver about changing or stopping your regular medicines. You may need to stop taking aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), vitamin E, and blood thinners as early as 2 weeks before the procedure.

  • Do not eat or drink for 8 hours before the procedure, or as directed by your caregiver.

  • You might be asked to shower or wash with an antibacterial soap before the procedure.

  • Wear comfortable clothes that will be easy to put on after the procedure.


You will be given an intravenous (IV) tube. A needle will be inserted in your arm. Medicine will flow directly into your body through this needle. You might be given medicine to help you relax (sedative). You will be given medicine that numbs the area (local anesthetic) or medicine that makes you sleep (general anesthetic).

If you have open surgery:

  • The surgeon will make a cut (incision) in your abdomen.

  • The gap in the muscle wall will be repaired. The surgeon may sew the edges together over the gap or use a mesh material to strengthen the area. When mesh is used, the body grows new, strong tissue into and around it. This new tissue closes the gap.

  • A drain might be put in to remove excess fluid from the body after surgery.

  • The surgeon will close the incision with stitches, glue, or staples.

If you have laparoscopic surgery:

  • The surgeon will make several small incisions in your abdomen.

  • A thin, lighted tube (laparoscope) will be inserted into the abdomen through an incision. A camera is attached to the laparoscope that allows the surgeon to see inside the abdomen.

  • Tools will be inserted through the other incisions to repair the hernia. Usually, mesh is used to cover the gap.

  • The surgeon will close the incisions with stitches.


  • You will be taken to a recovery area. A nurse will watch and check your progress.

  • When you are awake, feeling well, and taking fluids well, you may be allowed to go home. In some cases, you may need to stay overnight in the hospital.

  • Arrange for someone to drive you home.