How Safe Is an Umbilical Hernia Operation?

Umbilical hernia operations are very safe for most patients, according to MedlinePlus. As with any surgery requiring anesthesia, some patients may have a reaction to the medicine or experience heart problems.

Umbilical hernia surgeries repair hernias that form from a sac in the inner lining of the belly, explains MedlinePlus. The sac pushes through a hole in the abdominal wall toward the navel. Umbilical hernias are common in both children and adults, especially in overweight people and in post-pregnancy women. Most children do not need surgery to repair their hernias, but hernias in adults can become larger over time. Smaller hernias may not need surgical intervention, but doctors recommend surgery with larger hernias.

Although operations on umbilical hernias carry a low risk for most individuals, patients should be aware that every surgical procedure involves risks, such as infection and bleeding, states MedlinePlus. One uncommon risk is injury to the large intestine. Most patients who undergo umbilical hernia surgery leave the hospital the same day as the surgery, but those with very large hernias may need to stay overnight.

Patients can get back to their normal activities about two to four weeks after the surgery, notes MedlinePlus. The likelihood of the umbilical hernia returning in a healthy patient is low.