A hernia develops when an internal organ or fatty tissue pushes itself through a weak spot in the connective muscle. There are various types of hernias, such as inguinal hernia, incisional hernia, umbilical hernia, femoral hernia, and hiatal hernia.
Among all of these, the umbilical hernia is the second most common type of hernia that develops in children and adults. 10 – 20% of newborns develop an umbilical hernia. Most children develop this type when they are close to 5 years.
What causes an umbilical hernia?
Sometimes, because of some weakness in the muscles of the belly button or around that area, the umbilicus pops outwards and forms a bulge. This problem is identified as an umbilical hernia. At first, it starts with a small lump, but gradually it increases in size.
An umbilical hernia occurs mostly in children than in women. In adults, it usually happens either after pregnancy or being overweight. Women who have had multiple pregnancies are prone to develop a hernia. In most infants, it occurs when the umbilical cord that connects the mother with the baby does not close after the baby takes birth.
Signs and Symptoms of umbilical hernia
An umbilical hernia will look like a small bulge on the belly button. The bulge slowly increases with time. The lump is noticeable when you are crying, laughing, or coughing. It shrinks when you are in a relaxed position.
It is painful for adults and creates discomfort when the bulge increases. However, an umbilical hernia is not usually painful in infants and children.
Have queries or concern ?
What kind of doctors to consult when you develop a hernia?
If you see any signs or symptoms of a hernia, it is very important to consult a doctor immediately. If the doctors feel any risk, they will refer you to a surgeon. One of the most common operations performed by US surgeons is ventral hernia repairs.
Hernias should never be neglected as they can increase in size and become more painful if not treated on time. Going for surgery at the right time is less risky and provides a better outcome.
How to treat umbilical hernia?
In most infants, hernia disappears without any treatment by 1 year. For adults, surgery is often the way out.
As the hernia starts to pain and grows with age, adults are usually recommended for surgery to prevent the possible risks and other complications. Umbilical hernia surgery is a quick operation performed by professional doctors to push the lump back into its original place, which can strengthen the abdominal wall.
Doctors can either perform open surgery or laparoscopic surgery according to your choice. The operation may take about 20 to 30 minutes.
Waiting to cure an umbilical hernia is not recommended except for a very small hernia. The abdominal muscles weaken with age. Therefore, the hernia also increases in size. As a result, there is a risk of asphyxiation.
You may think of using an abdominal binder that applies pressure on the abdomen and helps push back the bulge, but that will not repair the hernia.
What are the risks involved after surgery?
Though umbilical hernia surgery is very common and safe, still there are a few complications faced by different patients either after or during the operation. Excessive bleeding, developing a blood clot, deep vein thrombosis, or infection in the operated area are the few common complications faced after the surgery.
The risks involved after the surgery differ from person to person. Here are some of the common risks faced by different people after surgery.
- Pain in the lower abdomen for many months.
- Injury to internal organs
- Re-occurance of hernia
If the surgery performed is keyhole surgery, there is a high chance of the other organs getting damaged. Hence it is recommended to perform other related surgeries to repair the damage and re-occurrence of umbilical hernia.
An umbilical hernia can get serious and result in severe illnesses if not treated correctly. As the size of the hernia increases, the risk of illness also increases. Therefore, it is important to seek medical help when you notice any bulge. Usually, people who get surgery for umbilical hernia return home the same day.
If you have any concerns related to the treatment of umbilical hernia, contact our team of experts today.
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