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To have my daughter's umbilical hernia operated on purely for cosmetic reasons?

(42 Posts)
cazty1 Fri 30-Sep-11 11:50:00

My Daughter was born with an umbilical hernia which we hoped might heal itself however she is now 5 and so there is no chance of this.

The doctors have agreed to operate and I've had a date for the operation however I'm really worried as to whether I'm doing this for the right reasons. Her belly button can be seen protruding when she wears a T shirt so it is big and I'm sure she'll hate it when she's a teenager, however does that justify a general anaesthetic and surgery? AIBU?

aldiwhore Fri 30-Sep-11 11:51:55


However, could it still be done when she becomes more aware of it? Would danger to her increase when she's older? I know some cosmetic surgery is better done when young, but if its not bothering her yet, it may well never bother her?

Its hard to gauge how it will affect her, and for that reason YANBU.

schobe Fri 30-Sep-11 11:52:15

Can she not choose to have the op when she's a bit older if she wants it?

How big is it exactly - roughly?

My DD has one but it's just a slightly outy belly button - I'd never dream of suggesting trying to change it. However, I suspect your DD's is much larger for you to be considering this.

PastaLaVista Fri 30-Sep-11 11:52:23

YANBU. I had one and I am so glad that my mum took the plunge and got it sorted. I didn't end up with the prettiest belly button in the world, but it's much nicer than a lump.

Nowtspecial Fri 30-Sep-11 11:52:58


cazty1 Fri 30-Sep-11 11:53:20

Thank you for replying aldi. It would be a bigger operation when she is older and I'll bet my bottom dollar the NHS won't fund it at that time - it was touch and go now.

The doctor implied that it should be now or never.

cazty1 Fri 30-Sep-11 11:55:51

Wow, all these responses - thank you.

As to how big it is, the doctor said he'd seen much worse but it's not just an outie it's a lop sided bulge which can be seen through thin clothes. She could never have it pierced! (Mind you, that's a benefit I suppose)

worraliberty Fri 30-Sep-11 11:56:41

YANBU I'm sure she'll thank you for it when she's older.

I know it's a worry but look how many kids have teeth out under GA

So try not to look at it as cosmetic but more as something she really needs done.

aldiwhore Fri 30-Sep-11 11:58:56

My eldest has inverted nipples, which makes his chest look fleshy. When he's due a growth spurt and packs extra weight they look like budding breasts. We try to keep his weight down, but he gets picked on by his peers for being like a girl (he's 8).

IF there were an op that could combat this, would I have it done? I think I would in all honesty.

HOWEVER. As its not an option and not abnormal in the grand scheme of things, I am working on a) keeping his weight down b) building his confidence in himself and an acceptance of his body.

Its a very tough choice, the arguements for and against are, in my opinion, all valid. Whilst I believe that difference isn't bad and acceptance is crucial, and 'fixing' things isn't always the best option, on the other hand I think if you CAN fix something, why not?

Good luck with your decision, either way.

marge2 Fri 30-Sep-11 11:59:19

YANBU. Kids can be cruel at school so if there is something they might pick on that you can fix right now, then do it. I would say this was not cosmetic.

schobe Fri 30-Sep-11 11:59:51

From what you've said about its size and the availability of the op later, I think YANBU.

paulapantsdown Fri 30-Sep-11 12:02:45

I think she will thank you for it later.
A family friends little girl had hers done when she was about 4, and the child has no recolection of the op but has a normal belly button now.

The benifits to the child far outweigh the risks of surgery.

itisnearlysummer Fri 30-Sep-11 12:03:22

It might be cosmetic medically speaking, but for you DD's self esteem and confidence, I would err on the side of doing it.

PissesGlitter Fri 30-Sep-11 12:06:41

if it is something that is going to cause her some misery later in life then i would go for it now

worraliberty Fri 30-Sep-11 12:08:23

And actually I would have thought it'll end up restricting her from wearing clothes with a higher waistband eventually.

bumpsnowjustplump Fri 30-Sep-11 12:16:18

I had the opp on mine when I was seven. I was in agony with it and couldnt do sports without getting bad tummy pains. Since the opp I have had no problems at all.

My son has it and it is huge I will definatly consider having his opperated on when he is older to prevent the problems I had.

YANBU at all

Lisatheonewhoeatsdrytoast Fri 30-Sep-11 12:20:44

My DS was born with a umbilical hernia it was HUGE, they told us they would operate at 4/5 but many for cosmetic reasons, his fortunately healed itself but the time he turned 2. However if he still had his, i'm not sure what i'd do, if it was HUGE then yes, because it would probably save him some teasing and what not and having something to dislike on his body.

Beans36 Fri 30-Sep-11 12:21:28

YANBU. Definitely do it. My sister had her daughter's done and went through the same agonies as you as to whether it was worth it. I think it was a tough couple of weeks, but her daughter is already glad to have had the operation. She also has webbed feet, which they chose not to operate on when she was a baby and she now wishes they had. She is 8 now.

4madboys Fri 30-Sep-11 12:29:24

well my ds2 has this, his was HUGE and the hospital wanted to operate, we asked to wait till he was 18mths and then reassess, it had got smaller but they would have still operated but as it didnt bother him in anyway so we didnt bother.

when he was 4 or 5 he had a follow up and the hospital said again they woudl operate for 'cosmetic reasons' we said no, as it didnt and doesnt bother him, he is now 9 and tbh even tho it was still quite big when he was 5 now you can hardly tell, tho he does have a slighty 'outy' belly button, but not in a noticable way and no one has ever commented (he is often without a t-shirt running around etc)

i didnt want to risk a general for a cosmetic procedue, i guess it may be different for a girl? but imo my son can decide for himself if he wants it operated on, but at age 9 he is not remotely bothered by it and it has gradually got smaller, the more their stomach muscles strengthen the smaller it becomes and as ds2 is very sporty i think that has helped smile

cazty1 Fri 30-Sep-11 12:38:07

Thanks so much everyone, I think I'm going to go for it having read your comments. Much appreciated.

betterwhenthesunshines Fri 30-Sep-11 12:39:53

YANBU If it was that risky they would not suggest it.

daytoday Fri 30-Sep-11 12:43:57

I too have this dilemma, although I have a couple of years yet until I have to make this decision. My daughters hernie is a bit higher and protrudes. I think I will get it done for her as it is actually growing with her and not diminishing.

It is such a tough call isn't it - but they did say they would operate via keyhole surgery.

proudfoot Fri 30-Sep-11 12:46:53

YANBU, I agree she will thank you later and you are doing it for her wellbeing so that is for the right reasons.

SexualHarrassmentPandaPop Fri 30-Sep-11 13:57:20

I wouldn't tbh but it seems I'm in the minority.It would go against the message I want to give my dc that people all look different and it's OK.
I went to school with kids with outies and it was never an issue tbh - some kids had innies and some had outies. My sister also had an outie and my mum had it operated on and my sister still ribs her now for letting her have cosmetic surgery as a child ie - you should have got my lips done and a bit of botox etc. She has no scar though if that helps as you seem to have made up your mind.

NorfolkBroad Fri 30-Sep-11 14:17:49

YANBU things like this can be a real pita for people and when it can be fixed quickly and easily (well, relatively) when they are young it is much better all round. She will be very pleased you did it.

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