Umbilical hernias are quite common in infants and young kids, particularly in babies born untimely.
An umbilical hernia appears as a painless lump in or close to the navel (belly button). It may get larger once laughing, coughing, crying or attending to the toilet and will shrink when relaxing or lying down. Umbilical hernias can even develop in adults. Without treatment, the hernia can probably worsen over time.
An umbilical hernia happens when the opening within the stomach muscle that help the umbilical cord to pass through fails to shut completely.
An umbilical hernia in adults sometimes happens when an excessive amount of pressure is placed on a weak section of the abdomen muscles, due to following factors:
- frequent pregnancies
- multiple gestation pregnancies (having twins, triplets, etc.)
- being overweight
- fluid within the abdominal cavity
- stomach surgery
- having a persistent, serious cough
Umbilical hernias can typically be seen when your baby is crying, laughing, or straining to use the toilet. The indicative symptom could be a swelling or bulge close to the umbilical area — a symptom that isn’t present when your baby is relaxed.
Adults will get umbilical hernias also. The symptoms are similar — a swelling or bulge close to the navel area that may be terribly painful. Treatment usually is needed.
The following symptoms might indicate a more serious scenario that needs medical treatment:
- the baby is in obvious pain
- the baby is vomiting
- the bulge (in both kids and adults) is tender, swollen, or discoloured
An umbilical hernia repair is a comparatively simple procedure that ordinarily takes 1 hour to perform. General anaesthetic is mostly used so there is no pain while the operation is carried out.
The weak part in the abdominal wall is usually closed with stitches in kids. If the hernia is massive or in adults, a special mesh is also used to strengthen the area instead.