The umbilical hernia is more commonly found by doctors when someone is born. The bulge will occur in the bellybutton – also known as the umbilicus. The opening in the abdominal wall that the intestines fall into will usually close before birth – but sometimes it will not close all the way.
In other cases the hernia will close almost all the way and only a half an inch will be open. However, this will usually close by the age of 2. Even if the area does close it can come back later in life. Those that are not able to close between the ages of 2 to 4 will require surgery.
Identifying The Problem
The easiest way to spot these hernias is when your baby is crying, coughing, or straining. The bulge will often disappear when they are lying down or completely calm. Look closely at their bellybutton to see a sign of any bulge of any size. Remember that they are usually painless so your child will not give you any indication of the problem.
Of course there are some cases in which the bulge has become so large that it will place pressure on the abdomen and cause pain. You should take your child to the doctor if they are vomiting, are in pain, or if the area is swollen and discolored.
Umbilical Hernias In Adults
While these are more often found in babies they might also occur in adults. Sometimes the hernia will not develop until the person is much older. Also pregnant women might experience them. These might be a bit uncomfortable for adults and you should seek medical attention if you are experiencing pain, vomiting, or swelling. There are other factors that can cause this hernia.
- Lifting heavy objects
- Excessive coughing
- Multiple pregnancies
- Fluid in the abdominal cavity