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After Umbilical Hernia Repair (Pediatric)

Your child had a procedure called umbilical hernia repair. A hernia is a weakness or tear in the wall of the belly. An umbilical hernia looks like a bubble or bulge near your child’s bellybutton. Although many umbilical hernias close on their own, some need surgery. During your child’s surgery, the healthcare provider made a small incision and repaired the muscle. Here are some instructions to help you care for child once at home.

Home care

Recommendations for home care include the following:

  • Your child's dressing will stay in place for about 48 hours.

  • Do not let your child’s dressing get wet. Give your child sponge baths to keep him or her clean.

  • Do not allow your child to shower, take a bath, or get in a swimming pool or hot tub until the healthcare provider says it’s OK. 

  • Give your child pain medicines as directed by the healthcare provider. Pain tends to lessen or go away after 2 days.

  • Try to keep your child calm and quiet for 3 to 4 days following surgery. This will help keep the incisions from opening. After that, your child can resume most normal activities, such as daycare or school, as directed by your healthcare provider.

  • Do not allow your child to play rough sports until advised by your surgeon.

  • Allow your child to eat or drink as desired.

When to call your child’s healthcare provider

Call the healthcare provider right away if your child has any of the following:

  • Fever:

    • In infants and children 3 to 36 months: a rectal temperature of 100.4°F (38.0°C) or higher, or as advised by your pediatrician

    • In older children: an oral temperature of 100.0°F (37.8°C) or higher, or as advised by your pediatrician

  • Shaking chills

  • Vomiting or nausea that doesn’t go away

  • Severe belly pain

  • Trouble urinating

  • Redness, swelling, warmth, or pain at the incision site

  • Drainage, pus, or bleeding from the incision

  • The incision opens up or pulls apart

  • Does not have a bowel movement 3 days after surgery 


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