If any of the fatty muscles protrudes through a hole from the connective tissue, it is called hernia. Hernia can occur in many places. If it occurs in the inner groin it is known as inguinal hernia, if it develops from the umbilical cord or navel it is called as umbilical hernia. In case the hernia is seen developing from the upper abdomen it is known as hiatal hernia and if fatty tissue is seen developing from the outer groin it is called as femoral hernia.
Umbilical hernia is one in which part of intestine pierces through a hole of abdominal muscles and is most common among infants. Bellybutton of the baby can protrude out of the navel for infants and often it may close gradually when the infant grows. Umbilical hernia that does not resolve promptly before the completion of 3 years of age needs treatment.
Infants would have a small swelling near the umbilical cord (navel). The bulging can be clearly noticed when the baby cries or coughs. And it may not be seen when the baby says calm and sleeps. Often, umbilical hernia is painless and do not cause any discomfort. In rare cases it might cause abdominal discomfort.
In most of the infants, umbilical hernia would close on its own when the child turns 1 year. In rare cases surgery is to be done to close the hole. In adults umbilical hernia might develop in some cases. People with problems in their belly or those who are obese can develop this problem. In rare certain health issues like persistent cough and constipation can create umbilical hernia.
It is the umbilical cord that connects the fetus with the mother and through which food is served to the growing child. The umbilical cord of the mother gets connected with the baby’s abdominal muscles and normally the small opening would close automatically after childbirth. In some cases the abdominal muscles would not fuse together completely and creates a small hole in the navel region. Over time, this would make the abdominal wall weak causing umbilical hernia.
In adults, umbilical hernia is rare. Excess of pressure put on the abdominal muscles like obesity and multiple pregnancies can cause umbilical hernia. Fluid accumulation in excess on the abdominal cavity and undergoing abdominal surgery can also cause this problem. Sudden lifting of heavy objects can weaken the abdominal muscles leading to hernia. Poor nutrition and constant smoking can also cause hernia.
Umbilical hernia would not cause any complications. In rare cases, some part of abdominal tissue gets trapped outside which cannot be pushed inside the abdominal cavity. This in turn can block the blood flow to this section causing tissue damage. In severe cases if no blood supply is restored it can cause death of tissues (gangrene) that has to be operated immediately.
Umbilical hernia can be diagnosed easily by mere physical exam. No additional tests are needed. For some babies the hernia becomes visible only if the baby stands up. Ultrasound scanning is done in such cases to get accurate picture.
Images, Pics, Photos and Pictures of Umbilical Hernia :
Often no treatment is needed for umbilical hernia, since the hernia would close automatically when the baby grows. Never attempt to push back the bulging tissue into the abdominal cavity on your own. And some people believe that fixing a coin on the hernia and closing it down by a tape can help in solving the problem. But this can cause infection. Sometime, doctor would gently push back the tissue into the cavity. Surgery is to be done for hernias that are bigger in size (more than 1.5 cm) and are painful and does not go away even when the child reaches 3 years.
Even for adults, surgery is the only option for treating umbilical hernia. The surgeon would make a small incision at the base of navel region and gently pushes the herniated tissue muscles into the abdominal cavity. The tiny opening will then be stitched. Developing gangrene and infection is quite possible for adults due to hernia. You can get back to work probably in a week or so and follow your doctor’s instructions so that you are not getting hernia again.