Umbilical hernia (patient information)
Umbilical hernia On the Web
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What are the symptoms of Umbilical hernia?
A hernia can vary in width from less than 1 centimeter to more than 5 centimeters.
There is a soft swelling over the belly button that often bulges when the baby sits up, cries, or strains. The bulge may be flat when the infant lies on the back and is quiet.
What are the causes of Umbilical hernia?
An umbilical hernia in an infant occurs when the muscle through which blood vessels pass to feed the developing fetus doesn't close completely.
Who is at risk for Umbilical hernia?
- African Americans
- Patients with the following pre-existing diseases:
How to know you have Umbilical hernia?
The doctor can find the hernia during a physical exam.
When to seek urgent medical care
Usually, no treatment is needed unless the hernia continues past age 3 or 4. In very rare cases, bowel or other tissue can bulge out and lose its blood supply (become strangulated). This is an emergency needing surgery.
Where to find medical care for Umbilical hernia
Prevention of Umbilical hernia
There is no known way to prevent an umbilical hernia. Taping or "strapping" an umbilical hernia will not make it go away.
What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)
Most umbilical hernias get better without treatment by the time the child is 3 - 4 years old. Those that do not close may need surgery. Umbilical hernias are usually painless.