Learn About Umbilical Hernia

What is the definition of Umbilical Hernia?

An umbilical hernia is an outward bulge in the area around the belly button. It occurs when internal organs or the abdominal lining bulges through the muscles near the belly button.

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What are the causes of Umbilical Hernia?

In the womb, the umbilical cord is attached to the baby through an opening in the baby's abdomen. After birth, this opening normally closes. When this area doesn't close completely, it leaves a weak spot in the abdomen, which can lead to a hernia. Hernias may be seen after birth or later in life.

Umbilical hernias are common in infants. They occur slightly more often in African Americans. Most umbilical hernias are not related to disease. Some umbilical hernias are linked with rare conditions such as Down syndrome.

What are the symptoms of Umbilical Hernia?

A hernia can vary in width from less than 1 centimeter (cm) to more than 5 cm (about 1/2 to 2 inches).

There is a soft swelling over the belly button that often bulges when the baby sits up, cries, or strains. The bulge may be flat when the infant lies on the back and is quiet. Umbilical hernias are usually painless.

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What are the current treatments for Umbilical Hernia?

Most hernias in children heal on their own. Surgery to repair the hernia is needed only in the following cases:

  • The hernia does not heal after the child is 3 or 4 years old.
  • The intestine or other tissue bulges out and loses its blood supply (becomes strangulated). This is an emergency that needs surgery right away.
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What is the outlook (prognosis) for Umbilical Hernia?

Most umbilical hernias get better without treatment by the time the child is 3 to 4 years old. If surgery is needed, it is usually successful.

What are the possible complications of Umbilical Hernia?

Strangulation of the intestines can occur. This complication is rare but serious and needs surgery right away.

When should I contact a medical professional for Umbilical Hernia?

Contact your provider or go to the emergency room if:

  • Your baby is very fussy
  • Your baby seems to have bad abdominal pain
  • The hernia becomes tender, swollen, or discolored
How do I prevent Umbilical Hernia?

There is no known way to prevent an umbilical hernia. Taping or strapping an umbilical hernia will not make it go away.

Umbilical hernia
What are the latest Umbilical Hernia Clinical Trials?
Recurrence Rate After Primary and Secondary Ventral Hernia Repair Using Long-term Resorbable Versus Non-resorbable Large Pore Synthetic Mesh.
Summary: Since abdominal wall hernia repair is currently performed with the use of a mesh, side effects associated with the mesh are frequently reported during long term follow-up. These side effects are related to shrinkage of the mesh, adhesions to the bowl, pain, and inflammation of the skin and bowl. To reduce or prevent these effects, a fully resorbing mesh has been developed, which provides sufficien...
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Laparoscopic Primary Umbilical Hernia Repair With Routine Defect Closure Using Su2ura Approximation Device
Summary: Intended Use The Su2ura™ Approximation Device is indicated for tissue approximation in endoscopic and open surgery for the placement of interrupted or running stitches in soft tissue such as hernia repair~Objectives To assess the safety and efficacy of the Su2ura approximation device for the laparoscopic repair of primary umbilical hernia~Number of Subjects 45 patients~Number of Centers Two study ...
What are the Latest Advances for Umbilical Hernia?
A Method of Conservative Management of Giant Omphalocele Useful in Preventing Rupture of Sac.
Summary: A Method of Conservative Management of Giant Omphalocele Useful in Preventing Rupture of Sac.
The treatment of umbilical hernia in patients with cirrhosis.
Summary: The treatment of umbilical hernia in patients with cirrhosis.
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Ventralex® ST Patch for Laparoscopic Repair of Ventral Hernias.
Summary: Ventralex® ST Patch for Laparoscopic Repair of Ventral Hernias.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: August 10, 2021
Published By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Nathan AT. The umbilicus. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 125.

Sujka JA, Holcomb GW. Umbilical and other abdominal wall hernias. In: Holcomb GW, Murphy JP, St. Peter SD, eds. Holcomb and Ashcraft's Pediatric Surgery. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 49.