Underneath our skin is a much tougher layer called the fascia.  This fascia is responsible for keeping our insides inside us.  At your belly button (umbilicus) if there is a weakness a hole in the fascia can develop, allowing contents from you belly (abdomen) to bulge through.  This is known as an umbilical hernia.

Does my umbilical hernia need to be fixed?

The most common reason for getting a hernia fixed is because it is causing you discomfort or pain.  Some umbilical hernias may be at increased risk of strangulation and so may be recommended to be fixed sooner rather than later.

What do I do if my hernia becomes strangulated?

If your hernia becomes red, hot, sore and swollen whilst waiting for your operation the most important thing you need to do it to gently try and push it back in.  You should lie down on a bed, push gently, firmly and continuously on the hernia until it pops back it.  You should do this as soon as it happens, as the longer you leave it, the harder it can be to push it back in.  If this starts happening frequently you should let Dr Hamer’s rooms know and your hernia operation may need to be expedited.  If you can’t pop your hernia back in (and you normally can), you should present to the hospital to be assessed for emergency treatment.

Should I have my hernia repaired with laparoscopic (key-hole) surgery?

Although most umbilical hernias can be repaired with key-hole surgery, often a better, safer and more durable repair can be performed with open surgery.  You should discuss with Dr Hamer the optimal method of fixing your hernia.