An umbilical hernia occurs when part of your intestine bulges through the opening in your abdominal muscles near your bellybutton (navel). Umbilical hernias are common and typically harmless.

This condition is very common in infant, meanwhile, it can still affect adults, an umbilical hernia may be especially more visible and evident when the baby cries, causing the navel to protrude and bulge out.

Symptoms of Umbilical Hernia

An umbilical hernia causes a tender and soft protrusion or bulge near or around the navel. This bulge is more obvious when the baby cries, coughs or strain.

In infant, the condition doesn’t cause serious pain, however, at adulthood, it may cause abdominal discomfort.

Causes of Umbilical Hernia

In infants, the causes can be streamline into one which is; failed-closure of the small opening with which the umbilical cord passes in attaching to the abdominal wall after birth. If the muscles don’t join together completely in the midline of the abdominal wall, an umbilical hernia may appear at birth or later in life.

In adults, too much abdominal pressure contributes to umbilical hernias. Causes of increased pressure in the abdomen include:

  1. Obesity
  2. Multiple pregnancies
  3. Fluid in the abdominal cavity
  4. Previous abdominal surgery
  5. Long-term peritoneal dialysis to treat kidney failure

Risk factors

The risk factors are associated to premature babies or babies with low birth weight are often at risk in having condition after birth. These factors are peculiar to infants.

For adults, being overweight or having multiple pregnancies may increase the risk of developing an umbilical hernia. This type of hernia tends to be more common in women.

Possible Complications

For children, complications of an umbilical hernia are rare. Complications can occur when the protruding abdominal tissue becomes trapped (incarcerated) and can no longer be pushed back into the abdominal cavity. This reduces the blood supply to the section of trapped intestine and can lead to abdominal pain and tissue damage.

If the trapped portion of intestine is completely cut off from the blood supply, it can lead to tissue death. Infection may spread throughout the abdominal cavity, causing a life-threatening situation.

Adults with umbilical hernias are somewhat more likely to experience a blockage of the intestines.

Our Medical advice at ALTH

Although, the hernia pose little threat to life is well managed and attended to on time, however, the possible complications are worrisome and therefore, we beseech you dear patient to report any protrusion around the bellybutton to US (at ALTH) as quick as possible.

Notable to state that, many umbilical hernias close spontaneously by ages 3 to 4. If closure does not occur by this time, surgical repair is usually advised. However, if there is an episode of incarceration or the hernia is very large, surgical repair may be recommended.