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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 abdomen. An umbilical hernia looks like a bubble or bulge near your child’s bellybutton. Although many umbilical hernias close on their own, some require surgery. During your child’s surgery, the doctor made a small incision and repaired the muscle. Here are some instructions to help you care for child once at home.

Home Care

  • 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 doctor says it’s okay. 

  • Give your child pain medications as directed by the doctor. 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 doctor.

  • 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 Doctor

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

  • Fever:

    • In an infant under 3 months old, a rectal temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher

    • In a child 3 to 36 months, a rectal temperature of 102°F (39°C) or higher

    • In a child of any age who has a temperature of 103°F (39.4°C) or higher

    • A fever that lasts more than 24-hours in a chid under 2 years old, or for 3 days in a child 2 years older

    • A seizure caused by the fever 

  • Shaking chills

  • Vomiting or nausea that doesn’t go away

  • Severe abdominal 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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