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Umbilical Hernia

Understanding Umbilical Hernias: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Umbilical hernias are a relatively common health issue that can affect people of all ages, from infants to adults. Here we will explore what umbilical hernias are, their causes, symptoms, and potential treatment options.

What is an Umbilical Hernia?

An umbilical hernia occurs when a portion of the intestine or fatty tissue protrudes through a weakened area in the abdominal muscles near the navel (umbilicus). This can create a noticeable bulge or lump in the belly button area.


  1. Congenital: In infants, umbilical hernias often occur due to an incompletely closed abdominal wall around the umbilical cord. These usually resolve on their own by the age of 2 or 3 years.
  2. Adult-Onset: In adults, umbilical hernias can develop as a result of increased pressure on the abdominal wall, often due to factors such as obesity, pregnancy, heavy lifting, or chronic coughing, chronic constipation or excessive straining.

Symptoms: Common symptoms of umbilical hernias include:

A visible bulge or lump near the navel(umbilicus)

Mild discomfort or pain, especially when coughing, lifting, or straining

Nausea, vomiting, or severe pain (in cases of strangulation, when blood supply to the hernia is compromised)


In many cases, small umbilical hernias in infants will close on their own. However, for larger or persistent hernias, as well as adult-onset hernias, surgery may be recommended. Surgery involves pushing the herniated tissue back into place and strengthening the abdominal wall with stitches or a mesh patch.This can be accomplished with an open procedure or a laparoscopic repair of the hernia with mesh.

 If you suspect you have an umbilical hernia or are experiencing symptoms, consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and treatment options. Early intervention can help prevent more severe complications down the road.

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