An umbilical hernia is a medical condition which occurs when a part of your bowel or fatty tissue plunges through a region near your belly button, squeezing through a weaker point in the encircling abdominal wall. Although this condition is most commonly reported in newborns and infants, adults can also get it. Here,in the following article, let’s see all the important things about umbilical hernias. So, keep reading…
An Umbilical hernia in infants vs. An Umbilical hernia in adults
As mentioned above, umbilical hernias are common in infants and newborns, especially the preterm babies. However, we do not know the exact rate of incidence in infants as several cases go unreported. It’s mainly because most cases of umbilical hernias in infants will resolve themselves, without needing any treatment. Normally, they won’t be painful, but if it becomes sore, a physician’s advice is recommended.
A common risk factor of umbilical hernias in newborns is found to be birth weight below 1.5 kilograms. About 75% of babies that are born below the said weight are found to have an umbilical hernia. As everyone knows, while the fetus is growing in the mother’s womb, the umbilical cord will be passing through an aperture in the abdominal wall. As such, this opening must be closed immediately after the childbirth. But, the muscles don’t always cover fully, leaving a weaker spot through which umbilical hernias can squeeze.
In most of the infant umbilical hernia cases, the condition will resolve on its own during the child’s first three or four years. If it is still present after this age, the physician may advise for a surgery.
While this is the case of an umbilical hernia in infants, this condition will develop in adults, more particularly, if you are overweight, lifting heavy weights, or having a persistent cough. Women who have multiple pregnancies are also at a higher risk of developing a hernia. Therefore, we can say that as adults, women are at higher risk than males, whereas, in infants, both the sexes are at an equal risk.
What are the symptoms of an umbilical hernia?
An umbilical hernia will look like a bump in your navel. In infants, it can be more obviously seen when they are laughing, crying, pooping, or coughing. It will become less visible when they are lying down or relaxing. As said above, it will not be painful usually. Whereas, in the adults, it may cause pain and discomfort if a hernia is big.
When should you see a doctor for an umbilical hernia?
You are advised to see a doctor if the lump becomes more painful, have vomiting, lump swells up and appears discolored.
While meeting a doctor, the diagnosis will start with a physical examination. Your doctor will also try to find out what kind of a hernia it is. As a next step, he may also want to screen for complications and hence, may order the tests like abdominal ultrasound, X-rays, and blood tests.
How to effectively manage umbilical hernias?
Although surgery is believed to be the only treatment option for umbilical hernias, it’s not so. There is another way to effectively manage the condition. Today, there are hernia belts available to help support your weakened abdominal muscles. You need to buy the Hernia Belt that is specially designed for the abdominal umbilical treatment. It’s available as low as $28. It carries a simple design and is easy to use.
A hernia belt will serve as a comfortable support for your scrotal hernia, which will help in reducing it. It can also be used in rare situations after you have done your hernia repair surgery in order to prevent it from recurring. Thus, if you get this belt, it will serve a dual purpose, both before and after your hernia operation.
Understanding the treatment for umbilical hernias
For those who are thinking that surgery is the only resort for umbilical hernias, we would like to inform you that surgery is not required in all the cases. In many cases, it will self-resolve without requiring any treatment, while in some other cases, the use of an OTC hernia belt will solve the issue.
In children, surgery will be prescribed if:
- A hernia grows after the baby is one or two years old
- The lump is not resolved by the age of four years
- The intestines are located inside the hernia sac
- A hernia is trapped
On the other hand, an operative surgery is prescribed if a hernia starts growing or hurting. The surgery is relatively simple, where the lump will be pushed back into place and to increase the strength of the abdominal wall. It can be either done as an open or laparoscopic surgery.