Laparoscopic Umbilical Hernia Repair

Laparoscopic umbilical hernia repair surgery is a surgical procedure used to repair umbilical hernias. An umbilical hernia is a pouch or sac which forms in the inner lining of a person’s abdominal cavity (belly). The pouch pushes through the navel in the abdominal wall.

Indications of laparoscopic umbilical hernia surgery

Adult umbilical hernia repair surgery should be performed because of the high risk of further complications. Indications for adult umbilical hernia repair surgery in adults include pain, skin ulceration, incarceration, hernia rupture, strangulation and defects exceeding 1 cm.

In some cases, umbilical hernias in adults are caused by prolonged peritoneal dialysis, fluid settling in the abdominal cavity or previous adult umbilical hernia repair surgery. There are other cases where umbilical hernias occur in overweight adults or post-pregnancy women. Also, women who have had several pregnancies are at a higher risk of developing umbilical hernias.

In the case of young children, umbilical hernias usually close naturally by the time they reach five years. However, laparoscopic umbilical hernia repair surgery can be recommended if the hernia does not close by the time the child is five years, the defect exceeds 2 cm, excess pain or the hernia restricts blood flow.

Advantages of doing laparoscopic umbilical hernia surgery

The main advantage of laparoscopic surgery is that it needs few small incisions. As a result, a patient experiences less pain and less visible scars. Also, healing happens faster compared to open surgery.

Another benefit of adult umbilical hernia repair surgery is that the laparoscope magnifies the images appearing on the monitor. This, in turn, gives the surgeon more details about the surgery compared to traditional surgery.

Side effects or complications of the procedure

Common complications of laparoscopic umbilical hernia repair surgery include:

  • Pain
  • Infection
  • Possible reoccurrence of the hernia
  • Adhesion
  • Obstruction of the small or large intestines
  • Bleeding

Mesh shrinkage or compression and mesh migration are other possible adverse complications which can happen after laparoscopic umbilical hernia repair.

Post-operative care

After laparoscopic umbilical hernia repair surgery, the patient is transferred to a postanesthesia care unit. The nursing team closely monitors the patient until he or she is stable. The amount of time spend in the postanesthesia care unit depends on the type of anesthesia used and the patient’s progress. If a patient is given general anesthesia, he or she must be awake and coherent before leaving the postanesthesia care unit.

While in the postanesthesia care unit, the patient is given ice chips, and if they are tolerated, the patient can also be given water. IV lines stay in place until the patient is able to take or tolerate clear liquids and this mostly occurs immediately after the surgery and if a general anesthesia was used.

Mostly, patients are discharged once they are awake and able to walk. Patients are advised to make arrangements with either a friend or relative to accompany them, especially if they want to go home after umbilical hernia surgery.

Cost of laparoscopic umbilical hernia repair surgery

Generally, umbilical hernia repair surgery cost is determined by different factors. Some of the factors which determine the cost of umbilical hernia repair surgery include type of the hospital and type of room. Laparoscopic umbilical hernia repair surgery cost also depends on the duration of hospital stay and the type of mesh used. Adult umbilical hernia repair surgery cost is usually covered by insurance.