Does umbilical hernia need a surgery or not?

Does umbilical hernia need a surgery or not?

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An umbilical hernia is nothing but a part of the intestine, bulges through the abdominal wall. The arising place of an umbilical hernia is not accurate. But, it is somehow near your navel.

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According to an article in BMJ,

A true umbilical hernia happens when there is a defect in the anterior abdominal wall that underlies the umbilicus, or navel.


This kind of hernia is most common in infants and also in adults. About 20 percent of babies are born with this kind of hernia. And 90 percent of hernias will eventually close on their own, according to John Hopkins Medicine.


What umbilical hernia really means?


The umbilical cord is a firm connection between the mother and her fetus present in the womb. In most cases, the hole is sealed after birth. but, in some cases, they don’t join completely. As a result, the intestine, and other fatty tissues poke through the weak abdominal wall.

When does an umbilical hernia need more attention?


In infants, it is identified when your baby cries due to the protrusion of the navel. In children, if the hernia lasts for the fifth year or longer then it will require emergency medical treatment. surgery is needed in the case of adults.


Causes of an umbilical hernia?


According to the Cincinnati children’s hospital center, 


There is no difference in the occurrence of this kind of hernia between boys and girls.

During gestation, the umbilical cord that connects the mother and the fetus does not close after birth. The abdominal muscles don’t join completely. And there may appear an umbilical hernia.


Other causes

  • African and American babies
  • Premature birth
  • Being overweight
  • Frequent pregnancies
  • Multiple pregnancies( like twins and triplets)
  • Excess fluid in the abdominal cavity
  • Persistent heavy cough
  • Abdominal surgery
  • Long term peritoneal dialysis
  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Prolonged constipation
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Staring such as during childbirth


Symptoms of umbilical hernia


It mainly appears in infants when your baby is laughing or crying. There is swelling and bulging may appear in the belly button area. And it is mostly painless.


But if your baby shows the following symptoms, then it requires medical advice


  • The baby is crying continuously
  • Starts vomiting
  • The umbilicus is bulging, swelling, and very tender
  • Bulging become discolored


Risk factors


Risk factors for infants

  • Prematurity
  • African and American
  • Low birth weight


Risk factors for adults

  • Overall abdominal pressure
  • Obesity
  • Ascites, or fluid in the abdominal cavity
  • Multiple pregnancies
  • Prior abdominal surgery
  • Cranial cough
  • In The United States, black infants have a higher

 risk of umbilical hernia.

What happened in the umbilical hernia?


An umbilical hernia appears when a part of the intestine or fatty tissues protrudes through the weak spot of the abdominal makes a swelling around the belly button. 


This type of hernia is seen both in babies as well as in adults. It can be complicated if protruding abdominal tissue never pushes back to its leads to the low blood supply, tissue damage, and umbilical pain. 


If the tissue receives no blood supply at all then it leads to strangulated gangrene production. infection get started and it needs emergency medical treatment. 



  • Physical examination


In the physical examination, the patient is standing or in a supine position. When the patient coughs or bears down then the intestine bulges out through the weak abdominal wall.


Some imaging studies like

  • x-Ray
  • CT scan
  • Abdominal ultrasound


  • Ordered blood tests for infections or ischemia
  • Barium swallow
  • fluoroscopy


Treatment of umbilical hernia


Umbilical hernia may automatically get fixed within 3-4 years. In adults, they need surgery to treat very rare cases, the intestinal tissues which bulge out lose their blood supply. then they need emergency surgery.

The incarcerated hernia and the hernia which is larger than two centimeters around ¾ inch need hernia repair surgery. Large intestinal hernias need open surgery and incisional hernia require laparoscopy to correct problems.


What is umbilical hernia repair surgery?


  • In this surgery, the surgeon makes a small incision just below the belly button.
  • They find the hernia sac that contains the bulging sack.
  • After finding it, push the intestine back to the right place behind the abdominal wall.
  • Pick out the remaining hernial sac.
  • Bring the muscle wall together and stitches to prevent another hernia.
  • Stitches the skin around the navel and muscles around it.


Care after surgery

  • use pain medication as per physician order
  • take sponge bath
  •  Don’t do certain activities
  • Have a fiber diet to avoid constipation




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