Can Umbilical Hernias Come Back?

Is it true that even if a umbilical hernia is fixed, it can come back? My doctor told me he fixed my umbilical hernia but in rare cases it can come back?, is there anything that can be done to prevent this?

Doctor Answers 10

Tummy Tuck - Can Umbilical Hernias Come Back?

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Yes, they can.

Ideally, of course, they would not.  In the ideal world, once something is repaired it would never "break" again (ie, a mechanical device, such as a car).  The reality, though, is that even a repaired object can break, and an umbilical hernia is in an entirely different category, since it may be subject to increased or different stresses.  The hernia may have come back (to the extent that it did) because there was increased pressure (from gaining weight), or stress (from lifting weights or other exercise) or weakened tissues (from medical conditions or medications) - or many other reasons not enumerated here.

The best way to prevent this from happening is to avoid these situations (ie, maintain your weight, do not lift more weight than your body can tolerate, etc).

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Can Umbilical Hernias Come Back?

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Umbilical hernias can recur.  The recurrence rate is higher for larger hernias fixed with sutures alone.  I would suggest to your physician using a mesh plug for larger defects.

Umbilical hernias can come back.

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Depending on the type of hernia repair, there is always a concern for recurrence. Most small hernias are easily repaired, however the repair may fail if there is significant strain on the repair prior to the scar healing. This can occur from coughing, straining, or even heavy lifting.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Umbilical hernias can come back

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Unfortunately, it is not 'rare' for umbilical hernias to recur. Any hernia can come back and the incidence of recurrence depends on the quality of the tissues, the experience of the surgeon, the procedure performed and how well the patient follows instructions after surgery.  If you have already had your hernia repaired, the best thing that you can do is to not put a strain on the sutures. Avoid strenuous activity such as sit-ups or lifting more than 15 lbs for 6 weeks after your surgery. 

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Recurrent Hernias

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It’s not unusual for plastic surgeons to encounter umbilical hernias when they’re evaluating or treating abnormalities of the abdominal wall.Under these circumstances, they frequently repair these defects when performing abdominoplasty surgery.
Unfortunately in many cases, these closures continue to be exposed to the same forces that led to their development.In fact, anything that increases intra-abdominal pressure can lead to recurrent hernias.For this reason, it’s generally accepted that hernias can be expected to recur in a small percentage of patients following surgical repair.

Umbilical hernia recurrence

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Yes it cvan come back but usually it will recur in the short term if sufficient time isn't given for it to heal.I would not do anything special.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Recurrrence of umbilical hernia

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I am afraid that it is a risk following any repair of a hernia that it may come back.  The hernia is initially due to weakness of your abdominal wall and repairing it usually involves suturing the defect together.  However if the tissues are weak, they can stretch and the hernia recur.  If it is troublesome, then you may need to have it repaired again and if the tissues are not strong enough to hold together, a mesh can be used.  Good luck.  Jonathan Staiano.

Can Umbilical Hernias Come Back?

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Recurrence is a real event and even though not common it can happen. Best to discuss in detail with your chosen general/hernia surgeon. 

Hernia back after tummy tuck

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An umbilical hernia can recur after tummy tuck, though your surgeon is right in that recurrence is not common. A hernia anywhere can recur if the events are right such as abdominal strain, pregnancy, or weight gain.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Umbilical Hernia?

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Thank you for the question.

Yes, recurrence of umbilical hernia is a risk of the procedure. What you can do to prevent recurrence is to avoid heavy lifting, straining and coughing after surgery.   it is also important to pick your surgeon carefully. Your surgeon will have specific  post operative instructions for you.

I hope this helps.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.