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 your child once at home.
Recommendations for home care include:
- Your child's dressing will stay in place for about 48 hours.
- Don't let your child's dressing get wet. Give your child sponge baths to keep him or her clean.
- Don't 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.
- If your child gets constipated, talk with your child's provider. Pain medicines can be constipating. Increased fiber and a stool softener are often helpful.
- Try to keep your child calm and quiet for 3 to 4 days after 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.
- Don't let your child to play rough sports until advised by your surgeon.
- Let 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 (see Fever and children, below)
- 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
Fever and children
Always use a digital thermometer to check your child's temperature. Never use a mercury thermometer.
For infants and toddlers, be sure to use a rectal thermometer correctly. A rectal thermometer may accidentally poke a hole in (perforate) the rectum. It may also pass on germs from the stool. Always follow the product maker's directions for proper use. If you don't feel comfortable taking a rectal temperature, use another method. When you talk to your child's healthcare provider, tell him or her which method you used to take your child's temperature.
Here are guidelines for fever temperature. Ear temperatures aren't accurate before 6 months of age. Don't take an oral temperature until your child is at least 4 years old.
Infant under 3 months old:
- Ask your child's healthcare provider how you should take the temperature.
- Rectal or forehead (temporal artery) temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by the provider
- Armpit temperature of 99°F (37.2°C) or higher, or as directed by the provider
Child age 3 to 36 months:
- Rectal, forehead (temporal artery), or ear temperature of 102°F (38.9°C) or higher, or as directed by the provider
- Armpit temperature of 101°F (38.3°C) or higher, or as directed by the provider
Child of any age:
- Repeated temperature of 104°F (40°C) or higher, or as directed by the provider
- Fever that lasts more than 24 hours in a child under 2 years old. Or a fever that lasts for 3 days in a child 2 years or older.
StayWell last reviewed this educational content on 6/1/2019
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