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An umbilical hernia is usually a painless disorder that usually does not cause any discomfort and eventually closes voluntarily – for example, in pediatric patients up to 4 years of age.
The umbilical cord connects mother and child in the womb. It is linked to the child through a small hole in the abdominal muscles. In most cases, this opening closes shortly after birth. However, an umbilical hernia occurs when the abdominal muscles are not closed completely, and the intestine or other tissue form a bulge around the navel. The problem can also affect adults.
The causes of an umbilical hernia
An umbilical hernia occurs when an opening in the abdominal muscles after the umbilical cord is not completely closed. A hernia is most common among children, but there are cases of illness in adults.
A higher risk of disease concerns premature babies or children born with low birth weight. On the other hand, in adults, umbilical hernia may occur when there is a tremendous pressure on the weaker abdominal muscles, including:
- in overweight,
- frequent pregnancies,
- multiple pregnancies,
- the accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity,
- after surgical procedures the stomach,
- with a massive and persistent cough.
The symptoms of an umbilical hernia
An umbilical hernia may be visible when the child cries, laughs, or while using the toilet. A characteristic symptom is a swelling or thickening near the navel, which, however, disappears when the baby is relaxed.
In adults, an umbilical hernia may appear similar, but the swelling and thickening around the navel may be painful, so it should be treated.
To facilitate the diagnosis, it is worth paying attention to symptoms such as:
- excessive bulging, swelling, and even discoloration around the navel.
Diagnosis and treatment of an umbilical hernia
Medical examination, which allows determining whether was appeared umbilical hernia, is to assess the abdominal cavity. A doctor examines a person (child or adult) paying attention to whether a hernia does not stop blood flow to blocked between the muscles intestines, which can be a serious complication.
It is recommended that the most common ultrasound examination or X-ray abdomen, which will exclude any complications. Sometimes it is necessary to perform blood tests for the presence of possible infection, especially when the intestine is blocked or trapped.
Complications associated an umbilical hernia, very rare among children, and are most often related to blocking, or development of the intestinal infection. In dangerous situations, it is necessary to make a surgical operation. When the blockage occurs in the umbilical intestine hernia, there may be:
- high fever,
- severe abdominal pain,
- ascites or abdominal swelling,
- redness or discoloration.
The treatment of the disease usually requires surgery – when there are complications, the hernia is painful bulge is larger than half an inch in diameter, does not decrease after year, does not disappear for a 3-4-year-old child or blocking the intestines.