Umbilical Hernia After 3 Kids - Surgery to Repair

Updated on November 12, 2012
M.B. asks from Colorado Springs, CO
7 answers

Has anyone had surgery to correct an umbilical hernia? I used to have an innie belly button, but now it's an outie. Almost like Kelly Ripa's belly button! I've delt with it for a while, but recently I've been lifting weights a lot and it has started to hurt, and has grown larger. I sneezed tonight and it hurt. I saw a general surgeon 4 years ago who advised I get it fixed, but I decided to wait. Can't wait anymore though, as its growing and becoming painful. If anyone has had the surgery, will it fix the way my belly button looks? WIll I have a large scar? What was your experience?

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So What Happened?

I had surgery two weeks ago. They repaired it with sutures only as it was small (like dime - nickel sized). There is now a hard swollen bump under my belly button..hopefully just swelling? The surgery was a breeze, nothing like 3 csections I've had. I milked it for all it was worth though, enjoying my time in bed and letting dh wait on me! Just a bit worried now that I have a total outie (worse than before) and that hard lump under it. I'm only two weeks post op though, so hopefully it's just swelling. I have post op appt tomorrow. I didnt get laproscopic, I had open. The incision is only about 1-2cm.

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answers from Dallas on

Years and years ago my mom had an umbilical hernia. It grew larger till one day she was washing dishes and her hernia must have ruptured a blood vessel and started (TMI) bleeding profusely. I am saying don't wait till its an emergency. Then you can't pick the surgeon.

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answers from Detroit on

I have an umbilical hernia, but I havent had surgery yet. I was told it was 4 small incisions and outpatient.
I have no pain in mine whatsoever, it just pops out a little when I strain my belly.
You wont have a large scar, but if you are having pain, you really need to get it fixed soon.

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answers from Charlotte on

I've had two of them. I had surgery to fix them both. Yes, it will change the way your belly button looks, and hopefully the scar will only be in your belly button, but it will look better than what it looks like now, with it getting bigger.

It's important to get this fixed while you can control when and where you get the surgery done. If you end up in an emergency situation, you can't pick your surgeon or the time.

Good luck!

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answers from Honolulu on

When my daughter was 7, she had surgery for her Hernia.
There are many different types.
Her's was an Inguinal Hernia.
But Hernias are a "hole" or weakness in the abdominal wall... and thus, the internal organs or intestines can poke out of it. Hence, a Hernia can bulge out etc. In my daughter's case, it was the ovary and intestine that was protruding out.

Some say a hernia can self close. It can, but it also can not, do that. In my daughter's case, her's was causing pain and complications.
She had to have the surgery.
Carrying or lifting heavy things, can make it worse or cause more pain.
So don't do that.

Also, if a Hernia closes up... and there is an internal organ protruding out when it closes up... the internal organ can "strangulate." Meaning, the internal organ that is protruding out of the hole, can become gangrened. Or in other words, strangled. And because the internal organ becomes "strangled", it then gets circulation cut off to it and that part of the organ that is protruding out, and it can gangrene etc. In this scenario, it is very serious by that point, and Emergency surgery is needed.
An example of what "strangulated" is: imagine, your fingertip having a string wrapped tightly around it. After a bit of time, the tip of your finger will get all red, loose circulation, and you can lose that tip of your finger due to gangrene. If circulation to it, it not regained.

A hernia becoming strangulated, happened to the son of my daughter's Surgeon. And his son was FLOWN to the ER, for surgery. By that time the Surgeon said you have about 1-2 hours to perform the surgery... or you can lose that portion of the organ or get gangrene etc. and it is very serious.

You need to be referred to a Specialist. A Surgeon, who specializes in Hernia surgery. My daughter saw a Pediatric Hernia Surgeon. For example. Her surgery was laparoscopic. General anesthesia. And it took about 1 hour.

My daughter was having pain and the "bulge" was getting worse and therefore, per the Surgeon who evaluated her... she had to have the surgery. It was too risky, to not do anything about it.

There are different ways of repairing a Hernia.
So, you need to see what the solution would be for YOUR case.

All the best.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I too had an umbilical hernia after my second baby was born. I had it repaired almost a year ago. I had my tubes tied and a uterine ablation procedure done at the same time as the hernia repair so I can't be positive of which scar is from which portion of the procedures. I have about 1/2 scar at the bottom of my belly button and a smaller scar above on each side of the belly button. All of the scars pretty much blend into my belly button and are not noticeable now.

I advise you to get it taken care of sooner rather than later. The larger the hernia the harder it is to repair and the harder the recovery is. I was fortunate enough to not require the mesh screen in my repair.

I can't really tell you how your experience would relate to mine as far as pain and recovery because I had the 2 other procedures done at the same time...and it sucked :( But I am very glad I had it all taken care of and no longer have the abdominal pain from the hernia.

Peace and Blessings,
T. B

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

The surgery was not a huge, huge deal, though I recall it was the first surgical procedure I ever had. I would say between surgery and recovery it was about a four-hour thing. It was kind of painful for a week or so and it took about 6 months for the area to feel fully back to normal again. The scar is barely noticeable now, but I will say my belly button is much smaller than it used to be. Nobody else would be aware of that, though. Good luck!

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answers from Portland on

My mother had an umbilical hernia repaired. I don't know what shape her belly button was before the repair. Afterwards it was an innie and she had a short surgical scar below the belly button. It was virtually invisible.

I suggest that you talk with your doctor to get a referral to a surgeon. Then ask the surgeon about this.

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