Advanced, minimally invasive treatments at affordable costs only at Medfin.

Advanced, minimally invasive treatments at affordable costs only at Medfin.

Usually, a physical examination is adequate for the diagnosis of umbilical hernias. However, an ultrasound, X-ray, or CT scan may be recommended by the consulting doctor to negate complications.

An umbilical cord passes through a small opening in the baby's abdominal muscles, while the baby is in the womb of the mother. This opening closes after birth. 

However, if the abdominal muscles do not join at the midline of the abdominal wall, an umbilical hernia is formed at birth or even later.

In adults, an umbilical hernia gets formed on account of excessive pressure on the abdominal muscles. This type of hernia is common in women. Increased pressure on the abdominal wall could be because of the following factors:

  • ​Previous abdominal surgery
  • Continuous and heavy coughing
  • Obesity
  • Fluid in the abdominal cavity
  • Multiple pregnancies
  • Bearing twins or triplets
  • Peritoneal dialysis to treat kidney failure over a prolonged period

Usually, umbilical hernias close on their own in children by the age of up to 2 years. During the physical exam, the doctor may even push the lump to its original position, resolving the hernia (this should not be tried at home).

Surgery in the case of children may be considered only if the umbilical hernia is:

  • ​Slightly larger than a 1/4th to 3/4th of an inch in diameter.
  • Painful
  • Consistency in size by the age of 2 years.
  • Persistent even at 5 years of age.
  • Indicative of a blocked intestine.

Surgery is normally recommended for adults to avoid future complications. The hernia tissue is positioned back in the abdominal cavity and is sutured by the surgeon. 

A surgical mesh may be used to reinforce the repositioned tissue and strengthen the abdominal wall.

A soft swelling or protrusion near the navel is a sign of an umbilical hernia. In infants, it may be seen, when the baby is coughing, crying, or straining (bowel movements). 

Umbilical hernias in children are generally painless. In adults, they may cause discomfort.

However, medical evaluation is advised, especially if there is -

  • ​Tenderness or pain.
  • Vomiting
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