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Umbilical hernia (child)

Umbilical hernia repair surgery will fix the hernia, and allow your child to return to normal activities.

An umbilical hernia is a lump at the umbilicus (belly button).

The abdominal cavity contains the intestines and other structures. These are protected by the abdominal wall, which is made up of four layers.

The inner layer is a membrane. The second layer is a wall made of muscle. A layer of fat separates the muscle from the outer layer of skin.

This produces a lump called a hernia. If your child has an umbilical hernia, surgery can fix it.

The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually takes about an hour.

Your Consultant will make a small cut around half of the umbilicus. Then, they will close the opening in the tough layer of the abdominal wall with strong stitches.

Your child should no longer have the hernia.

Surgery should prevent your child from having any of the serious complications that a hernia can cause in adult life.

Like all surgical procedures, there are some levels of risks to consider. Some of these can be serious. However, you can speak to your Consultant about the following general and specific complications that may worry you.

General complications of any operation

Specific complications of umbilical hernia surgery

  • Developing a lump under the wound caused by stitches, or a collection of blood or fluid;
  • Injury to structures within the hernia that come from the abdomen, and
  • Unsightly appearance, as the skin of the umbilicus may continue to stick out.

Your child should be able to go home the same day.

Your child should be able to return to school after a week, but for 6 weeks should not do strenuous exercise.

Most children make a full recovery.

If your child is over three years old, surgery is recommended to prevent serious complications that can happen in adult life.

Unfortunately, a hernia will not get better without surgery.

Book an appointment online, or find out more by calling us on  0141 300 5009.


  • Authors: Mr Shailinder Singh DM FRCS (Paed. Surg.), Mr Jonathan Sutcliffe FRCS

Specialists offering Umbilical hernia (child)

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Miss Laura Spanu

Consultant General Surgeon


The Kings Oak Hospital 1 more The Cavell Hospital

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Mr Stuart O'Toole

Consultant Paediatric Surgeon & Urologist


Ross Hall Hospital 1 more Ross Hall Clinic Braehead

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Mr Rame Sunthareswaran

Consultant General Surgeon

MB BS BSc(Hons), FRCSEng(Gen), FRCSEng(Vasc), RCPathME

The Chiltern Hospital 1 more The Shelburne Hospital

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Mr Peter McDonald

Consultant General Surgeon


The Clementine Churchill Hospital

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Mr Ashish Desai

Consultant Paediatric Surgeon

FRCS (Paeds), Fellow of European Board of Paediatric Surgeons, MCh

The Blackheath Hospital 1 more Chelsfield Park Hospital

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Mr Atul Sabharwal

Consultant Paediatric & Neonatal Surgeon

MB ChB, ChM, FRCS (Glas), FRCS (Paed Surg)

Ross Hall Hospital 1 more Ross Hall Clinic Braehead

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