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Epigastric hernia repair

Epigastric hernia repair surgery can help to relieve pain that is caused by the hernia and it should prevent from appearing again.

Doctor making a suture in operation room
There are many different types of hernia, including a hiatal hernia, an umbilical hernia, or inguinal hernias. 

An epigastric hernia occurs when a lump develops in the midline between your umbilicus (belly button) and sternum (breastbone) which can cause pain. An epigastric hernia in adults can sometimes be caused by smoking or diabetes. 

Your abdominal cavity contains your intestines and other structures.

These are protected by your abdominal wall, which is made up of four layers, including your abdominal muscle. In an epigastric hernia (a form of abdominal hernia), fat pushes out through a weak spot in the wall of your abdomen between your umbilicus and sternum and forms a lump.

An epigastric hernia can be generally treated by having a hernia operation, either in open surgery or with key-hole surgery (laparoscopic epigastric hernia repair).

Generally, surgeons prefer key-hole surgery as it is quicker, minimally invasive and means you can recover quicker, as well. The time between diagnosis and private hernia surgery is often less than a month, ensuring you receive rapid surgical repair treatment.

A hernia operation can help to relieve pain that is caused by the hernia by reversing it entirely.

It should prevent the hernia from appearing again.

Like all surgical procedures, some complications can be serious and can even cause death. However, you can discuss the following general and specific complications with your doctor:

General complications of any operation

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • Unsightly scarring of your skin
  • Blood clot in your leg
  • Blood clot in your lung

Specific complications of this operation

  • Developing a collection of blood (haematoma) or fluid (seroma) under your wound
  • Injury to structures within your abdomen

You should be able to go home the same day.

However, you won’t be able to go back to work for 1 to 2 weeks.

Returning to work will depend on how much surgery you need and the type of work you do. Your doctor will remind you that you cannot lift anything heavy for at least 6 weeks.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

After 6 weeks, most people make a full recovery and can return to normal activities.

It’s good to bear in mind that the hernia can come back many years later, and you may need another operation.

Overall, an epigastric hernia is a common condition caused by a weakness in your abdominal wall between your umbilicus and sternum.

If left untreated, an epigastric hernia can cause serious complications.

Book an appointment online, or find out more about our healthcare services and receiving medical advice, diagnosis or treatment by calling us on +44 1413 005 009.

Specialists offering Epigastric hernia repair

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Mr John Loy

Consultant Upper GI and Bariatric Surgeon

MB BCh FRCSEd (Gen Surg)

The London Independent Hospital

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Mr Howard Joy

Consultant General & Colorectal Surgeon

MBBS BSc FRCS(General Surgery)

The Priory Hospital

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Mr Jonathan Paul Trickett

Consultant General, Laparoscopic & Colorectal Surgeon

MBBS DM FRCS(Eng) FRCS(General Surg)

The Runnymede Hospital 1 more The Princess Margaret Hospital

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Mr Amir Hussain

Consultant General Surgeon


Ross Hall Hospital 1 more Ross Hall Clinic Braehead

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Ms Lynn Stevenson

Consultant General and Colorectal Surgeon

MBChB University of Aberdeen 2001 Masters in Medical Law (MML) University of Glasgow 2009 FRCS(Ed) Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh 2010

Albyn Hospital

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Mr Makhosini Mlotshwa

Consultant General Surgeon

MBChB, FCS (Gen Surg), FRCS (Eng)

Goring Hall Hospital

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