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Umbilical Herniotomy

An umbilical hernia occurs when part of the intestine protrudes through the umbilical opening in the abdominal muscles.  Umbilical hernias are common and typically harmless. 


Discharge from Hospital:

An umbilical herniotomy is usually a day only procedure and therefore your child will usually be discharged home the day of surgery.



Once your child is fully awake after the procedure he/she will be offered clear fluids (water) and if this is tolerated, he/she can then progress to a normal diet.   Infants can resume breast feeding or formula once they have tolerated water.


Pain Relief:

Your child will have an anaesthetic block and local anaesthesia in the wound that usually lasts for about 8 hours.  After this Paracetamol or Nurofen is the drug of choice if pain relief is required.  The nurse can advise you of the dosage before you leave the Hospital.   For older children Painstop may be useful.  The Anaesthetist will also advise you of this on the day.

Note:  Do not use Aspirin as this may promote bleeding

Wound Care:

The wound is sutured with dissolving stitches which are completely hidden under the wound.  This will be covered with a waterproof dressing.  The umbilicus will have a pack in it which will removed after 4 days.   It if comes off earlier, that is fine, just place a simple dressing over the wound.

The wound will go hard in the next few weeks as it heals and will soften over time.  There may be some bruising and local swelling.  Sometimes the swelling may look as though the hernia has recurred. 


Your child may shower after 24 hours but not take a soak in the bath for 4 days after surgery.  Dry the wound gently.



Vomiting post anaesthetic can occur but is rare.   If this does occur give nothing for an hour and then only offer water in small amounts until the nausea has stopped.

You should contact Doctor if the following occurs:

  • Your child develops a temperature over 38 degrees

  • Pain is not relieved by the recommended dose of Paracetamol/Nurofen

  • Your child’s wound is hot, red and angry looking or it is gaping, discharging or bleeding


Back to school:

Keep your child home for 2 to 3 days.  If you child has no discomfort then school can be recommenced 3 days after surgery.   Swimming and most normal activities can commence 10 days after surgery.  Active contact sports such as football should be avoided for at least 2 weeks.


Follow-up Appointment:

Please call our rooms as soon as possible after surgery to book your post-operative appointment for 4 weeks after surgery or earlier if you have concerns.   If you are from the country your GP could review your child and our Doctors will send a letter to your GP so they up to date with the surgery performed.  Should a medical certificate be required please contact the practice and this can be arranged.

Disclaimer:  This web site is not intended as a substitute for your own independent health professional’s advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider within your country or place of residency with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition

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