Umbilical Hernia: Know Various Causes, Symptoms, Risks, Diagnosis And Treatment

Umbilical hernia is not as problematic as other types. Know various causes, symptoms and risks of this type of hernia.

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalUpdated at: Nov 05, 2021 11:28 IST
Umbilical Hernia: Know Various Causes, Symptoms, Risks, Diagnosis And Treatment

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There are number of problems which occur without knowing about their symptoms initially. Especially with kids, it becomes even more difficult because they are not able to tell you the problem effectively. One such health condition that affects both children and adults almost equally is that of umbilical hernia. It is a type of hernia which happens near the umbilical cord. Even though this condition is not very harmful for health but it causes weakness and makes people uncomfortable. Hence today we will learn about umbilical cord hernia and its related effects on the body.

What Is Umbilical Hernia?

We consulted Dr. Umran Malik, Consultant Physician, Vozart Healthcare Hospital, Mumbai to tell us about this disease. He told that umbilical hernia is caused mostly in people after their birth when the umbilical cord is detached from their mother’s womb or because of an after effect of surgery. Umbilical hernia happens in case when the abdominal walls do not join properly and results to cavity bulge through a weak spot. 


Condition of this type of hernia is generally harmless and painless in most times. However it does cause discomfort to the person and thus it is better to get it treated. If you have umbilical hernia, there would also remain a weak spot near your belly button, which is not very healthy. In cases of infants, umbilical hernia goes automatically after some time, but in others it can remain for a long period.

Risk Factors leading to Umbilical Hernia

  • Being overweight
  • Having frequent pregnancies 
  • Abdominal surgery
  • Always having a persistent and heavy cough
  • Excess fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity
  • Multiple gestation pregnancy

What Causes Umbilical Hernia?

Well in majority of cases risk factors are the ones that lead you to umbilical hernia. The process that occurs is that opening in the abdominal muscles allows umbilical cord to pass through it is not closed or operated properly. It leaves a gap or cavity in the people and thus it leads to this type of hernia. It is quite common in children and around 20% of children are born with umbilical cord hernia. 

Premature babies, malnutrition affected children, low birth rate and surgical process in abdominal are main cause of having umbilical hernia in the early stages. The symptoms however start occurring quite later. This type of hernia occurs to boys and girls equally and makes the abdominal section and muscles in the region weak.


Symptoms of Umbilical Hernia

The main symptoms of umbilical hernia are swelling or bulge in the abdominal region and naval cavity. Umbilical hernia does not have any vital symptoms except for these two, other symptoms occur in the later stages of umbilical hernia when the bulge increases. In children, it is usually painless and not much threatening. 

Here are some symptoms that can be experienced during umbilical hernia-

  • Discomfort in sleeping
  • Pain in abdominal muscle in adults
  • Bulge in belly button
  • Swelling near belly button
  • Vomiting 
  • The swollen region may appear to be discoloured

Also Read- Risk Factors Of Stroke And Things That One Should Keep In Mind

How Can Umbilical Hernia be diagnosed?

Umbilical hernia is usually diagnosed by physical examination. It is not hard to determine hernia but it depends on the situation of the person. In adults umbilical hernia can be pushed back into the abdominal cavity in the case when it becomes trapped. If the doctor sees that umbilical hernia portion has been deprived of proper blood supply, then it can cause permanent damage to the tissue.


Umbilical hernia can also be tracked down with the help or x-ray or ultrasound which can tell the exact location and seriousness of the hernia present in your body. The doctor may also take few blood samples for test to diagnose various parameters and risk of certain conditions.

Also Read- Hate Drinking Milk? Here Are 6 Alternatives For Milk To Meet Your Calcium Demands

Treatment of Umbilical Hernia

In case of children, it can be healed without much treatment required. In case of adults, you may need proper surgery to get rid of the umbilical hernia. This is because most of the chances of complications are associated with adults having umbilical cord hernia and not children. However surgery is still last option if the pain becomes evident and discomfort becomes unbearable. 

During surgery you need to be careful that you have not eater or drink anything around 3 hours before surgery. The surgical process usually lasts about an hour where the hernia is removed. Umbilical hernia is taken out with help of incision near the belly button or at the bulge. Surgeon may push the intestinal wall back into the abdominal wall and will stitch the opening later. 

The surgeon tends to strengthen the abdominal wall by stitches carefully. Once the surgical process in done and umbilical cord hernia is removed, then you need to take some precautions in the recovery. This includes the following-

  • Avoid exertion
  • Reduce number of activities
  • Take sponge bath for three days after surgery
  • Wait for the incision tape to fall off 
  • Take regular appointment

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