Oct 31, 2023
The term "umbilical hernia" refers to the protrusion of a portion of your intestine through the abdominal muscle opening near your belly button. Hernias in the umbilicus are frequent but usually not dangerous.
An umbilical hernia causes the area surrounding the navel to expand or partially protrude. It happens when a section of the intestine pushes through the abdominal muscles' umbilical opening. In most cases, children with umbilical hernias are not in pain.
Though they most typically afflict infants, adults can acquire umbilical hernias. When the infant cries and his or her belly button protrudes, the umbilical hernia in the baby may become more noticeable. An umbilical hernia is typically indicated by this.
While some remain open for up to five years, children's umbilical hernias often close on their own during the first two years of life. Adult-developing umbilical hernias are more likely to require surgery to resolve.
During gestation, the umbilical cord passes through a small muscular opening in the baby's abdomen. The opening usually closes shortly after delivery. If there is an incomplete fusion of the muscles in the midline of the abdominal wall, an umbilical hernia may form at birth or later in life.
Severe abdominal pressure can lead to adult umbilical hernias. Elevated abdominal pressure can be caused by the following factors:
An umbilical hernia causes the area surrounding the navel to expand or partially protrude. Only when a baby cries, coughs, or strains can they show signs of an umbilical hernia.
In most cases, children with umbilical hernias are not in pain. Abdominal pain may be experienced by adults with developing umbilical hernias.
Umbilical hernias most often affect infants, especially those who are low birth weight or prematurely born. It has an equal impact on boys and girls.
Umbilical hernias may be more common in adults who have had multiple pregnancies or who are overweight.
An umbilical hernia is diagnosed via physical examination. On occasion, imaging tests such as abdominal ultrasounds and CT scans are carried out to look for abnormalities.
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By the time they are a year or two old, the majority of baby umbilical hernias heal on their own. Your doctor may even be able to push the protrusion back into the abdomen during a physical examination. But do not attempt this by yourself.
Despite what some people suggest, you shouldn't attempt to treat a hernia by taping a coin over the bulge. Covering the bulge with tape or similar material won't work since bacteria might accumulate underneath and cause an infection.
Children often only need surgery for umbilical hernias that:
During the treatment, a small incision is made near the belly button. When the herniated tissue is reinserted into the abdominal cavity, the abdominal wall incision is sutured closed. Surgeons often utilize mesh to strengthen the adult abdominal wall.
In children, complications from an umbilical hernia are rare. Complications may occur when the protruding abdominal tissue gets trapped and is unable to be pushed back into the abdominal cavity. Due to the blood supply being cut off to the trapped portion of the intestine, this may result in tissue damage and stomach pain.
If the intestine's trapped portion is completely isolated from the blood supply, tissue death could happen. If an infection spreads throughout the abdominal cavity, it could prove fatal.
Adults with umbilical hernias are somewhat more likely to get an intestinal blockage. Usually, these problems need to be resolved with emergency surgery.
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