What is an umbilical hernia?

An umbilical hernia is a bulge or protrusion that occurs near the belly button (umbilicus). It happens when a portion of the intestine or other abdominal tissue pushes through the abdominal muscles, causing a small to large visible lump or bulge in the belly button area. This condition is more common in infants, but it can also occur in adults. In infants, it usually resolves on its own within the first few years of life, but in adults, surgery may be necessary to repair it.

What are the symptoms of an umbilical hernia?

The symptoms of an umbilical hernia may include a bulge or swelling near the belly button, discomfort or pain in the abdomen, nausea or vomiting, constipation or difficulty passing gas, and a feeling of pressure or fullness in the abdomen. Sometimes there may be no symptoms at all. 

What are the treatment options for an umbilical hernia?

The treatment options for an umbilical hernia typically depend on the severity of the condition. In mild cases, observation and close monitoring may be all that is necessary. However, if the hernia is causing discomfort or has grown larger, surgical intervention may be recommended. 

During hernia surgery, the surgeon will push the protruding tissue back into place and strengthen the abdominal wall with sutures or mesh. This can typically be performed on an outpatient basis and has a high success rate with few complications. 

It is important to consult with our general surgeon at UnionMD to determine which treatment option is best for your individual case.

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