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Umbilical Hernia. What to Expect? Recovery + Future?


I’ve got a CT scan in a couple days to verify/diagnose it for sure, but I’m pretty positive I popped an umbilical hernia last week. Didn’t notice anything until hours after my squat session then had some pain around my belly button which hurt to the touch and felt like a hard lump under the skin.

I saw a Dr. the next day and he couldn’t push it back in so got me scheduled for a CT to see what’s going on. I think my insides have slipped back through the hole at some point over the weeken as I don’t feel a hard lump anymore, but it’s still slightly painful when touching and it feels a bit like I’ve lost some abdominal pressure (also feel like it’s causing a postural imbalance and my back and shoulders have been in pain ever since).

Just wondering if anyone has gone through this and how long the recovery was/if it permanently effected your lifting? Also, was surgery required to keep lifting? Most importantly, what can I do to keep this from happening again?

Thanks for any info, been going stir crazy since this happened.


I had umbilical hernia surgery about 5 years ago. No, this doesn’t have to permanently effect your lifting. Many people have hernia repairs and do just fine after they heal.

My innie belly button became an outie, post pregnancy. It wasn’t a big concern until it started to hurt when I laughed and coughed, and when doing something like a hanging leg raise. My lifting didn’t cause it, but it did likely make it worse. If you have to have it repaired, it will mean NOT lifting for at least 6 weeks, although it may take many months to heal completely. Scar tissue is less flexible, so it may take 6 months to a year before you feel like it’s “normal” and not “pulling” when you brace your core.

To keep from having it happen again? Be serious about letting it heal before you go back to the gym.

My experience was more involved because the doc chose to make a low c-section incision (instead of just going in with a small incision at the belly button and mesh) so he could repair the split in my abdominus rectus that caused the weak spot in the first place. I have internal stitches from above my belly button all the way to the pelvis. Yours would likely be MUCH less involved.

FYI, many people have minor umbilical hernias that never require surgery. Mine was serious enough that he wanted me to get it fixed, ASAP before it turned into an emergency deal.

@2busy has the dubious honor of having a lot of experience with hernias, although I don’t think he’s had an umbilical hernia? Anyway, he’s your man. If he doesn’t see this, he keeps a log in the Over 35 Forum. Go look him up.


Good to know it’s not going to be a permanent problem. I actually had a hernia repair about 15 years ago but it was an inguinal hernia and I had a mesh cone put in. It’s uncomfortable at times but it doesn’t give me much trouble. I was more concerned here cause of the location.

The 6 weeks off is going to hurt more than anything else…

Thanks! I’ll check out 2busy’s log as well.


I ve had umbilical hernia for over 13 year’s now , i ve pointed out to several doctor’s, it goes in and out. I’ve pulled high sixes and squat 585 belt free no problem. Doctor said as long as it occasionally goes in surgery not necessarily, its been staying out here lately, but if i can’t train for 6 weeks fuck it inless necessary.