Is an Umbilical Hernia Dangerous?

In almost all cases, no. Many patients have few or zero symptoms from their umbilical hernias except for the existence of an “outie.” For some, the unwanted appearance is the only reason to consult with a hernia specialist. Others may experience a bit of discomfort if the hernia bumps into something. Rarely is this a big deal.

If the discomfort leads to pain, however, particularly after eating a large meal, it makes sense to have the hernia evaluated by a surgeon. That’s when it’s time to call Boston Hernia to determine if surgical repair is the best solution.

Two Simple Surgeries for Umbilical Hernias


1.- For most patients, we recommend umbilical hernia surgery with mesh. We make a small incision at the hernia location and gently push the protruding tissue back into the abdomen where it belongs. We place a piece of mesh under the abdominal wall and suture it in place, then we sew the hole in the abdominal wall closed over top the mesh for a durable, two-layer repair.

2.- In some cases, the umbilical hernia can be repaired by suturing alone, without mesh. We typically reserve this technique for thin, healthy patients, especially women with umbilical hernias as a result of pregnancy.

The decision to proceed with mesh or suture repair is made between you and your surgeon. After umbilical hernia surgery, most patients return to normal daily activity within a few days of surgery. Return to full physical activity is depending on the individual, but typically occurs between 2-4 weeks post-op.