Your child has been admitted for an operation to treat her/his umbilical hernia. The hernia has formed due to the failure of the umbilicus to close fully after birth. Although they are unlikely to cause significant problems, they are usually operated on for cosmetic reasons. Surgery is not offered before the child is 4 years old as most umbilical hernias close naturally.

The operation

Your child will have a general anaesthetic, which means they will be asleep during operation. They will also have local anaesthetic injected into the wound site at the end of the procedure. This will help to reduce any discomfort. The hernia is treated by closing the defect at the base of the umbilicus. A small incision is made, usually just beneath the umbilicus. The defect is closed with strong non-absorbable sutures then the incision is closed using dissolving stitches. A light dressing is placed over the wound.

After the operation

Your child will remain in the theatre recovery area for a period of time. You will be able to join him/her there and then accompany them back to the ward. When your child has recovered from the anaesthetic he/she will be able to have a drink and a biscuit.

Once they are comfortable they will be allowed home.

After discharge

Your child may have some bruising and swelling following the procedure. This should settle within a few days. Your child can shower only for the first 2 to 3 days following the operation.

You will be advised about school and physical activity before discharge.

Simple pain relief such as paracetamol and ibuprofen can be used until the discomfort has settled. Please follow the instructions on the packet.

You may be contacted by a member of the ward team to check that your child has had no problems following the operation.

If you have any concerns please contact either the Paediatric Assessment Unit for overnight issues immediately after discharge, or the Paediatric Day Unit the next day.

After the first 24 hours following the operation the child’s GP should be contacted for advice.

You will be informed whether a hospital follow up is needed.

Contact information

Paediatric Assessment Unit

Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

Tel 0300 422 8305

Paediatric Day Unit

Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

Tel: 0300 422 8452

Tel: 0300 422 8453

Monday to Friday, 7:00am to 7:30pm

Further information

Printable version of this page

Umbilical hernia GHPI0986_12_21 Department: Paediatrics Review due: December 2024 PDF, 492.4 KB, 2 pages
Reference number GHPI0986_12_21
Department Paediatrics
Review due December 2024