In many cases, an umbilical
hernia closes on its own by the time a child is 1 year old. Almost all umbilical
hernias close without surgery by the time a child is 5 years old. Because of this,
there are different opinions about when surgery is needed for an umbilical
In most cases, your child's healthcare provider may suggest surgery if the umbilical
- Gets bigger with age
- Can’t be pushed back into the abdomen
- Is still there after age 3
Always contact your child's healthcare provider to see what is best for your child.
During surgery for an umbilical hernia, your child will be given anesthesia. A small
cut or incision is made in the belly button. The loop of intestine is put back into the
abdomen. The muscles are then stitched together. Sometimes a piece of mesh material is
used. This helps strengthen the area where the muscles are repaired.
Children who have surgery for an umbilical hernia may be able to go home the same