The body is vulnerable to various diseases and medical conditions. A hernia is one such condition and can affect people of any gender and age group, including babies. There are numerous types of hernias. One of these is umbilical hernia which mainly affects babies. However, adults can also get the disease. In children, most hernias are painless and usually close on their own. But if the condition appears in adults, it may require surgery, or it will continue to grow and pose complications.
Before we discuss umbilical hernia symptoms in detail, it is necessary to be aware of the disease.
What is an umbilical hernia?
An umbilical hernia occurs near the belly button, also known as the navel. It is a condition where a section of the intestine exerts itself out of a weak area in the infant or person’s abdominal muscles. If you see a bulge near your baby’s navel, it is likely an umbilical hernia. However, there is not much to worry about because these hernias are very common among infants and usually close on their own when they are around three or four years of age. However, if the umbilical hernia gets incarcerated, treatment is required. If an incarcerated umbilical hernia is left untreated, it can become a life-threatening condition.
Umbilical hernia symptoms
Some signs and symptoms of an umbilical hernia are:
In babies, the umbilical hernia will show itself as a bump near the belly button. The bump becomes visible when the baby coughs or cries. However, the bump will no longer be visible when the child is resting or is relaxed. In most cases of umbilical hernia, babies do not feel any pain. But if you see a change in the bulge’s colour, the baby vomiting or feeling intense pain, there is a probability that the hernia is incarcerated. In such a condition, it needs treatment.
- An umbilical hernia is very common in babies, but adults can also be affected, especially if they are aged 60 and above. Unlike babies, adults will exhibit many more symptoms. Some of these symptoms are:
- A bulge in or around the navel area. The bulge will get prominent when the person is performing activities like lifting or coughing and straining.
- Those affected with an umbilical hernia usually suffer from chronic constipation.
- The person will feel pain in the area where the hernia has developed.
- The patient may suffer from nausea and vomiting.
- The strangulated hernia may lead to fever.
- Constipation is a common symptom.
- Pain in the abdomen
- Discoloured bulge
If you notice any of these symptoms, you need to see a doctor. An incarcerated hernia is a dangerous condition, and surgery is the only way through which doctors can correct the condition. If you notice any serious symptoms of umbilical hernia and do not take any action, the condition can assume dangerous proportions, and the patient can also lose their life.
Risk factors for umbilical hernia
Certain risk factors can increase the chances of umbilical hernia in adults. Some risk factors are mentioned below:
- Chronic cough
- People who are overweight are at risk of developing an umbilical hernia.
- Strenuous activities
- Numerous pregnancies
- People who have had earlier abdominal surgeries can develop an umbilical hernia
If umbilical hernia symptoms are suspected, the doctor will diagnose the problem and the hernia’s size through a physical exam, X-rays, CT scans and other procedures. Based on the diagnosis, the doctor will prescribe the proper treatment. There are two types of surgeries for umbilical hernia – open hernia surgery and laparoscopic hernia repair.
In an open surgery, a tiny incision will be made at the hernia’s site. Then with a mesh the abdominal wall will be strengthened and the muscle layer will be sealed with stitches.
Laparoscopic surgery also involves the doctor making tiny incisions. However, unlike open surgery, laparoscopic surgery involves the use of tools. The doctor inserts these tools through the incisions and does the surgery.
Getting Treated at Max Healthcare
If you need to undergo umbilical hernia surgery, check with an experienced doctor at a well-known hospital. Max Healthcare is among the best hospital chains in the country and currently has a network of 17 hospitals.
The hospitals perform surgeries using the latest technologies. Max Healthcare has a state-of-the-art medical infrastructure which has enabled its hospitals to achieve a high success rate. To get rid of an umbilical hernia, book an appointment at BLK-Max, Nanavati Max Hospital or any other hospital under Max Healthcare.
In most children, umbilical hernias close by themselves. But if the hernia does not go away, it is necessary to get the condition treated. However, if the disease shows itself in adults, do not delay medical treatment. If the hernia becomes strangulated, it may give rise to life-threatening complications.