Umbilical hernia surgery expert Reinpold Niebuhr
Your Specialized Center for Hernia Treatment

Umbilical hernia
(Hernia umbilicalis)

Umbilical hernia surgery – where should I go? Detect umbilical hernia – but how? What can I expect from the surgery and how long will I be sick? You will find answers at the Hamburg Hernia Center.

Umbilical hernia surgery:
3 reasons for our Hernia Center

  • At the Hamburg Hernia Center, we guarantee treatment by designated hernia specialists.
  • Together, our team of doctors looks back on a worldwide unique experience of more than 30,000 hernia operations, an umbilical hernia surgery is a daily routine for us.
  • At our locations throughout Hamburg, you are in experts’ hands with your umbilical hernia from the preliminary examination to surgery and aftercare.

Beforehand in a nutshell

How to recognize an umbilical hernia?
A typical sign of an umbilical hernia is a palpable and usually also visible protrusion at the navel, sometimes accompanied by occasional pain.

When does an umbilical hernia require surgery?
Due to the risk of entrapment, every umbilical hernia should be medically clarified and in most cases also operated on.

How is an umbilical hernia operated on?
Depending on the type, extent and individual accompanying circumstances, various surgical procedures are available for umbilical hernia, including very gentle minimally invasive methods.

Umbilical hernia - what is it?

Diagnosis of umbilical hernia: What may sound strange is by no means unusual. In fact, even all people are born with an umbilical hernia. Where the umbilical cord passes through the abdominal wall, there is a natural gap. Therefore, every infant initially has an umbilical hernia, but it is not pathological. As a rule, the congenital umbilical hernia regresses in the first few years.

Umbilical hernia in adults

Even in adults, umbilical hernias still often occur. Thus the umbilical hernia belongs, after the Inguinal hernia, among the most common abdominal wall hernias. But how does an umbilical hernia develop? The explanation is simple: the region around the navel is a natural weak point of the abdominal wall. This is where the umbilical cord once passed through the abdominal wall. An abdominal wall hernia is therefore particularly likely in the area of the umbilicus.

Umbilical hernia: Cause

The region around the belly button is a natural weak point of the abdominal wall in every person. Many umbilical hernia patients also have a congenital weakness of the connective tissue, which further promotes an abdominal wall hernia.

The same applies to umbilical hernias as to other abdominal wall hernias: If the abdominal wall cannot withstand the pressure inside the abdomen, the hernia will occur. Additional risk factors for umbilical hernia are therefore:

  • smoking
  • chronic respiratory diseases/cough
  • chronic constipation
  • overweight
  • taking cortisone and other immunosuppressants
  • pregnancy
  • alcohol abuse
  • cirrhosis of the liver
  • abdominal fluid
Umbilical hernia surgery specialist Berger
Risk of entrapment: An umbilical hernia should always be clarified. In most cases, surgery is recommended.

Umbilical hernia: Symptoms

Typical umbilical hernia symptoms include a bulging umbilicus and occasional pulling pain. However, very many affected persons have no subjective complaints. The protrusion due to the umbilical hernia is not considered bothersome by most.

Umbilical hernia: Risk of incarceration

The biggest risk with umbilical hernia and other abdominal wall hernias: incarceration. If viscera such as intestinal loops slide through the hernia gap, these can become trapped and no longer receive sufficient blood supply.

Even if the common umbilical hernia symptoms seem harmless, we advise: Don’t take your umbilical hernia lightly. An umbilical hernia should always be clarified by a doctor. Because of the risk of entrapment, umbilical hernia surgery is advisable in most cases.

Umbilical hernia: Diagnostics

If your family doctor or another specialist diagnoses you with an umbilical hernia, we recommend that you visit a specialized hernia center. In Hamburg, we first advise you in our practices. Even during the preliminary consultation, you will only meet with designated hernia specialists. By palpation we can already assess your umbilical hernia well.

Dynamic Ultrasound: Innovation from Hamburg

We can visualize your umbilical hernia particularly precisely using dynamic ultrasound examination. The procedure was significantly co-developed by Prof. Niebuhr and enables, among other things, the precise assessment of the localization, size and condition of the hernia.

Umbilical hernia surgery specialists Niebuhr Dag
Umbilical hernia surgery: If possible, we use the gentle MILOS procedure developed in Hamburg.

Umbilical hernia: Surgery

An umbilical hernia in an adult does not heal spontaneously. The only treatment option is surgery. In our hernia center in Hamburg, we offer different variants of umbilical hernia surgery. Even during the first consultation, you will meet exclusively with hernia experts at our various locations throughout Hamburg. We will find out together which umbilical hernia surgery method is right for you.

From Hamburg: Umbilical hernia surgery according to MILOS/EMILOS procedure

If possible in your individual case, we recommend the minimally invasive MILOS or EMILOS operation for umbilical hernias. The innovative surgical procedure was developed by Dr. Wolfgang Reinpold and his team in Hamburg. The umbilical hernia surgery according to MILOS is particularly gentle for patients. For example, the surgical procedure is the first in the world to allow minimally invasive synthetic mesh insertion – which is indispensable for umbilical hernia surgery – outside the abdominal cavity.

MILOS surgery is suitable for both umbilical hernia and other abdominal wall hernias.

Umbilical hernia surgery: What happens next?

Umbilical hernia – how long will I be sick? A common question by patients.

In general: Everyday activities such as dressing, undressing, personal hygiene, walking, going for a walk can be taken up immediately after the umbilical hernia surgery. Eating and drinking are also immediately possible.

At the latest after the wound has healed (approx. 7 to 10 days), normal physical activities are possible, such as housework, light gardening, swimming, jogging, cycling and lifting up to 20 kilos.

Heavy physical work can be started 3 – 6 weeks after the umbilical hernia surgery, depending on the surgical procedure.