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Umbilical hernia: symptoms, causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Hernias are sacs formed by the lining of the abdominal cavity. This sac manages to pass to the outside through a weak part of the abdominal wall, better known as the fascia. This protruding lesion may contain abdominal tissue, part of an organ such as the intestines, or fluid. The types of hernias are classified according to their location. In the case of the umbilical hernia, it is a bulge that has developed around the navel and that occurs when the muscle in this area does not close completely after birth.

There is no specific cause for hernias, but they can come out due to several factors, such as lifting heavy objects or exerting a lot of effort when going to the bathroom. Even some hernias can be congenital, although they do not become noticeable until months after birth. This FastlyHealarticle will explain everything about umbilical hernia: symptoms, causes, and treatment.

Types of umbilical hernia

There are two types of umbilical hernia, and they are classified according to the cause that has caused it.

Primary umbilical hernia

This type of hernia is congenital; it is present in the person from the moment of birth. Its presence is due to a defect in the abdominal wall and in the umbilical cord, which begins during the development of the fetus during the process—of gestation in the womb.

Hernia umbilical incisional

Most of the time, these hernias occur as a secondary effect of surgical interventions that have been performed in the navel area in which, over the years, the internal suture of said surgeries has been weakened. With the continuous or intense effort of the abdominal area, the hernia is caused to cross the abdominal wall, reaching the exterior.

Umbilical hernia causes

Different factors among which are can cause umbilical hernias that are not congenital

  • Realization of cumbersome physical exercise.
  • Lifting heavy objects or working with heavy objects.
  • Chronic constipation forces you to exert a lot of effort or push when having a bowel movement. If you suffer from constipation, we advise you to visit the following articles, where we explain the home remedies to prevent it and the products you should avoid.
  • Chronic coughing can lead to an umbilical hernia, as coughing stimulates abdominal strength.
  • An enlarged prostate can make it hard to urinate.
  • The overweight is a significant cause of umbilical hernias.
  • We can add as a trigger for an umbilical hernia to any activity or disease that stimulates abdominal pressure.

Umbilical hernia symptoms

Umbilical hernias are usually bulges that do not cause any discomfort to the person beyond the presence of a node or sac in the navel area. This lump can be touched and is very soft to the touch, to the point that if you exert pressure and squeeze it, it can be inserted back into the abdomen; however, with minimal effort or stress, it will be exposed to the outside again.

Some people with umbilical hernias present a discomfort that they define as burning or pain in the navel area when they make an effort with the abdomen, such as carrying objects, pushing, coughing, and even sneezing. When this symptom appears, the medical specialist may recommend using an abdominal girdle that maintains the hernia internally so that discomfort does not occur.

When the hernia is too large for how small the navel hole can be, it can become trapped, cutting off blood circulation, and can cause ischemia or necrosis in the abdominal tissue. These hernias, known as strangulated hernias, are often operated on in an emergency to prevent complications in the body. Among the symptoms that can warn us of this type of hernias are nausea, vomiting, inability to evacuate, and inability to eliminate gas.

Umbilical hernia diagnosis

The diagnosis of the umbilical hernia is carried out when it has grown considerably so that the doctor can identify its existence through a simple physical examination. However, it is common for the specialist to want to examine the area where the hernia has appeared more deeply to find out how the interior of the abdomen is located so that they may request an abdominal ultrasound and a CT scan of the stomach. These diagnostic tests also determine if other smaller hernias have not gone to the outside.

Umbilical hernia treatment

Before starting treatment for an umbilical hernia, the medical specialist is likely to prescribe some pain reliever if the person experiences discomfort or pain from the hernia. However, the treatment of this type of protrusion suggests performing a surgery known as hernioplasty, which consists of placing a synthetic mesh in the abdomen to correct the position of the hernia. This surgical intervention can be performed in two different ways.

Laparoscopic hernioplasty

This technique is one of the least invasive currently used, as it consists of making around four tiny incisions in the abdomen. The laparoscope will be inserted through one of these holes, and the other tools necessary to correct the problem and insert the mesh will be inserted through the rest of the incisions. Thanks to the camera at one end, the laparoscope allows the surgeon who is operating to see the inside of the abdomen on television and thus work correctly.

Open surgery

It consists of making an incision in the abdomen, precisely above or below the navel, so that when the hernia is reached, the surgeon places it back inside and proceeds to put the synthetic mesh on top that will prevent the hernia coming out again. Once the operation is finished, the opening through which the hernia has been corrected is closed with stitches.

Hernioplasty can last up to 40 minutes, and it is an intervention that does not represent any risk to the person’s health. In addition, this surgery is outpatient, so that on the same day of the operation, the person undergoing surgery can go home. The recovery process after hernioplasty is four weeks long, enough time for you to perform all kinds of abdominal efforts and pressure again without any risk.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Umbilical hernia: symptoms, causes and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Digestive System category .

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