ABC Medical Center > Umbilical hernia

What is Umbilical hernia?

21:54 - 4 May , 2021


During pregnancy, the umbilical cord is connected through a hole in the fetus’s abdomen, which must be closed after delivery, but if it does not, a bump can form during birth or later in life. Babies are more likely to have umbilical hernias, but they can also appear in adulthood and cause abdominal discomfort.

Possible causes:

Umbilical hernias arise more frequently in premature or low-weight babies, while in adults, being overweight, obese, having multiple pregnancies, having abdominal surgery, or having dialysis treatments increase the risk of suffering from it, which is also more common in women.

Signs and symptoms Umbilical hernia

  • Pain.
  • Abdominal swelling.
  • Bulging near the navel.
  • Tenderness.
  • Vomit.

An umbilical hernia can cause complications that can put the baby’s or the adult’s life at risk, so if you or your baby have any of these symptoms, do not hesitate and go immediately to the ABC Medical Center Emergency Room to avoid complications.

Potential risks:

  • If the intestine tissue becomes trapped, it can cut off blood circulation and cause necrosis, with the risk of fatal consequences.
  • Generalized infection.
  • Intestinal obstruction, mainly in adults.

Diagnosis and treatment Umbilical hernia

After analyzing your symptoms, clinical history, and performing a physical examination, your doctor, if deemed necessary, will request a series of imaging studies such as abdominal ultrasound, computed tomography, or MRI to corroborate the diagnosis, watch for complications, and define the steps to follow.

As for infants’ treatment, it is usually surgical when the umbilical hernia:

  • Causes a lot of pain.
  • Size greater than two centimeters.
  • It does not go away on its own over five years.
  • Immobilizes the intestine.

In adults, surgery is recommended when the umbilical hernia causes a lot of discomfort and has grown in size, so a hernioplasty is usually performed, which consists of placing a reinforcing mesh to prevent it from reopening.

In general, an umbilical hernia surgery lasts between 25 and 60 minutes, depending on the method used.

If you are given general anesthesia, you will need to recover until the effects of the anesthesia wear off. The risks of umbilical hernia surgery are low unless you have secondary conditions.

At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


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  • Abraham AJF, Cardoso LN, Molina FE, et al. Técnica de mínimo acceso no videolaparoscópica para hernias umbilicales con defectos múltiples de la línea media. Revista Cubana de Cirugía. 2012;51(4):271-279.

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