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Digestive and Gastrointestinal Conditions

Umbilical Hernia

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Umbilical hernias usually are harmless and go away by themselves. Your child's doctor will talk to you about surgery to repair the umbilical hernia if:

  • The hernia is still present by the time your child is 4 or 5 years old.
  • The hole in the belly is larger than about an inch in width.

Surgery for Umbilical Hernia

Umbilical hernias usually are repaired as an outpatient surgery at the hospital. This means your child can go home the same day as the surgery.

At the time of surgery, we will give your child medicine to make them sleep without pain (general anesthesia). Your child's surgeon will make a very small cut (incision) at the belly button. The surgeon will gently push the bulging tissue back into your child's abdomen. Next, the surgeon will sew up the opening in the abdominal wall. Finally, the surgeon will close the incision.

The surgery takes about 30 minutes to an hour. Your child will be in the recovery room for another hour.

After Surgery for Umbilical Hernia

We will give your child pain medicine to make them comfortable. After your child goes home, you’ll need to keep the incision clean and dry until it heals. The surgery team will teach you how to care for the incision. They will tell you if you need to limit your child’s activity for a while.

About two to three weeks after surgery, your child will need to see the surgeon for a follow-up visit. The surgeon will make sure the incision is healing and your child is recovering well.

Who Treats This at Seattle Children's?

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Summer 2014: Good Growing Newsletter

In This Issue

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Download Summer 2014 (PDF)