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Complications after umbilical hernia surgery

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Umbilical hernia or hernia in the navel, as it is also known, is a common condition of the abdominal wall that can occur from an early age. This alteration is produced by an inadequate closure of the umbilical hole , which leads to the exit of abdominal content through this hole, such as the intestines.

The surgeon is the doctor in charge of the surgical treatment of this alteration. When performing this procedure, there are risks inherent to the procedure that can generate complications as a consequence of not following in some cases the indications given by the surgeon. In this FastlyHealarticle you will learn all about complications after umbilical hernia surgery .

What is an umbilical hernia

The umbilical hernia appears due to a deformity in the abdominal wall, usually due to a congenital defect that is evident from birth. What characterizes this alteration is the increase in volume in the abdominal region.

From childhood to adulthood, this alteration can occur, which must be treated by a surgeon, who will resolve this alteration by a surgical procedure.

It is important to know that there are different treatments and that complications can occur after umbilical hernia surgery.

Learn more about Umbilical hernia: symptoms, causes and treatment .

Umbilical hernia treatment

The treatment of the umbilical hernia is surgical, the general surgeon will be the one who will confirm the diagnosis and perform the procedure.

The latter can be carried out in 2 ways:

Conventional or open surgery

It is the traditional surgery and is performed when the hernia is large . An incision is made below or above the belly button to reach the site of the hernia.

The surgeon will be in charge of checking the hole: if the presence of the intestine is observed, it will be returned to the interior of the abdominal cavity, then a surgical mesh will be placed in order to avoid its displacement to the outside.

Laparoscopic surgery

This intervention is characterized by being minimally invasive . This technique consists of making small incisions in the abdomen through which the necessary surgical instruments will be introduced to resolve the umbilical hernia.

The laparoscope is the instrument used by the surgeon to visualize the inside of the abdominal cavity and resolve the hernia. In this technique, a surgical mesh is placed and the procedure is completed by suturing the incisions.

Complications after umbilical hernia surgery

Surgical resolution of an umbilical hernia is a safe procedure, but complications can occur due to the risks inherent in any surgical act, such as:

Problems with anesthesia

One of the most common complications after umbilical hernia surgery is the problem with anesthesia. It can appear in patients who undergo general anesthesia , which combined with other medications can interact and generate an allergic reaction. This risk tends to decrease if local anesthesia is administered in elderly patients.

  • People with chronic respiratory diseases are at risk of complications after the application of general anesthesia.
  • An alteration of the heart rhythm may appear as a consequence of anesthesia during and after the intervention.


This complication can arise from contamination of the operative wound when they are very extensive.

In cases where an incarcerated umbilical hernia is evident, an infectious process may occur due to poor care of it, which allows the proliferation of bacteria, generating an infection that needs to be treated with an antibiotic.


Bleeding is another complication that occurs as a result of the rupture of a blood vessel during the surgical act and that bleeding may persist after the intervention, which generates discomfort such as abdominal pain and irritation.


During the first week after surgery, bruising around the wound is normal.

However, its permanence for a longer time can be a complication that the surgeon must take into account and manage when it occurs.

Medical malpractice

Using an inappropriate technique for the patient, as well as the experience of the general surgeon who carries out the intervention, has repercussions when performing the surgery. It is important to turn to a surgeon who specializes in the matter.

Injury to the small or large intestine

This type of injury is not common within the complications of umbilical hernia surgery, however, it can happen depending on the size of the umbilical hernia, the technique used and whether or not it is incarcerated at the time of the intervention.

Reappearance of umbilical hernia

The chance of the umbilical hernia reappearing is low, however it can happen. Depending on the care taken during the postoperative period, due physical rest must be kept to avoid the reappearance of the umbilical hernia.

If it reappears again, it can be treated by the specialist without putting the patient’s life at risk.

How to avoid complications after an umbilical hernia operation

To avoid complications after umbilical hernia surgery, it is important to comply with the pre and post operative measures indicated by the surgeon so that you can prevent complications:

  • Keep proper physical rest for the first 2 weeks after umbilical hernia surgery.
  • During this time you will be able to walk, as this will help you speed up your recovery.
  • Increase the consumption of fruits, vegetables and foods rich in fiber in your daily diet to avoid constipation.
  • You should not exert yourself until you feel capable of doing it, especially if your job requires you to lift heavy loads or strain your abdominal muscles. To start these activities, you must wait about 4 weeks or when your doctor tells you to.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Complications after umbilical hernia surgery , we recommend that you enter our Digestive System category .

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