Umbilical hernia is known to occur in 10%-20% of the kids. It is an abdominal bulge seen at the umbilicus or belly button. Hernia is a condition when all the items of cavity in body actually bulge out from their normal position. Infants and new born have known to suffer from hernia that is commonly self healing. In some cases it remains open or may be weak to cause issues later in life.
Digestive system is a complicated and essential part of your body, suffering from any ailments related to the gut can be painful or even traumatic. The hernia when blood vessels covering the muscles during embryonic stage do not close completely.
African Americans are known to suffer from umbilical hernia on a larger scale. The umbilical hernia is known to be associated with other conditions like Down syndrome and Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome.
The abdominal protrusion of belly button or even other organs from the body are associated with umbilical hernia. Although most of these hernias close till the age of 1, few cases may take a long time for healing. Surgical treatment could be required for some cases where the umbilical hernia do not heal by its own till age of 4. It is commonly seen and almost harmless in most kids.
Symptoms – Umbilical Hernia
Male or female the medical condition is not restricted to sex of the child. Hernia can affect any baby. The hernia is known to create swelling or soft bulge along the naval region. This bulge could range from 0.5 inches to about 2 inches in diameter.
It is more common to notice a bulge when the baby cries, strains or coughs. This condition is mostly painless, but if untreated till adult age it may cause some discomfort. Any suspicion should be discussed with the doctor, so your child’s pediatrician could suggest a treatment method.
Causes of hernia
The umbilical cord provides the nutrition and support to the developing fetus. Before birth the umbilical cord passes from an opening that has to close during birth. When the muscles are unable to close down completely the abdominal wall is known to remain open during birth and later stage of life. The adults have been suffering from hernia due to following:
- Multiple pregnancies
- Heavy weight lifting
- Fluid in cavity of abdomen
- Coughing history
The condition is not risky, but at times intestinal tissues can get trapped in the gap and bowel blood supply may be cut off due to this. There is obstruction in the bowel movement and may cause peritonitis or even gangrene. Emergency hernia operation is the only solution to repair the strangulated hernia.
At times the intestines may get trapped in the hernia also known as incarcerated hernia. The condition leads to severe pain and bulge could turn red and firm. It is very rare, but if occurs will require urgent medical attention.
Only a physical examination will give you clear idea about the occurrence of umbilical hernia. The contents that are caught in hernia sac may also give some hint about the condition. An x-ray or even ultrasound will be able to detect the abdominal deficiencies diagnosed after a physical exam.
- Reasons for treatment include the following:
- It is a painful condition and hernia may be stuck in awkward bulged position
- The tissue damage could occur as blood supply is known to be affected
- The hernia does not close on its own till age 5 or 6
- Defect could make the appearance different or unacceptable for parents
Treatment – Umbilical Hernia
Surgery is one alternative giving relief to children having very painful umbilical hernia. Otherwise the hernias mainly close by itself. The surgical treatment should be considered if you see increase in the hernia by age 1 or 2. Blocked intestines will certainly be a reason for emergency medical treatment for hernia.
Adults are advised to go for treatment so they do not have any problems related to the abdomen. The health problems are known to occur in individuals such as chronic constipation, cough and some problems with urinating. There can be strangulated hernia causing the condition to become worse. The bulge will be painful, swollen, discolored or tender.
It will only take 20-50 minutes for completing the operation. The repair process can be covered easily. You do not want to worry about hernia anymore. Ask your doctor about the laparoscopic and open surgery. The surgery process will allow you to get relief from the pain and trauma. The surgeon will cover the following procedure:
- General anesthesia for treating the condition
- Small incision or cut above or below the navel
- Bulging tissues can be pushed into the belly again
- The tissues and muscles around navel get repaired and a wire mesh could be placed under the weakened spot for support
- Cut is covered with help of stitches
It is possible to recover in a short period. You may require some pain relief medication for treating the discomfort. The stitches will go away in few days, though there are rare chances the umbilical hernia may reoccur. The side-effects of surgery are minor; you will be able to get relief from all pain in a short period.
If your kid is suffering from umbilical hernia or you think you have the symptoms, talk to your medical practitioner and get it treated at the earliest.