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Belly Button Hernia

Belly Button Hernia

Belly button hernia, which is common in infants and overweight people, is also known as umbilical hernia. Excessive pressure on the abdominal region leads to this condition.
Charlie S
Last Updated: Feb 2, 2018
We may classify the types of hernia according to the anatomy. Hernia is characterized by a bulge in the abdominal region due to the push exerted by the intestine resulting in a kind of protrusion through the membrane of the abdomen. Along with infants, adults may also suffer from hernia.
The cause of this condition is weakness in the muscles present around the abdominal region. The risk of developing a hernia is high in infants. Besides, it is not difficult to diagnose umbilical hernia.
In some cases, the condition may disappear by the time the baby turns 1. However, in certain cases, it may take 2 or 3 years for it to subside. Thus, if the protrusion is still visible and keeps increasing, it is advisable to seek medical attention.
Occurrence of Umbilical Hernia ...

In Babies

There is a bantam-sized opening found in the abdominal muscles; this is the opening from where the umbilical cord passes and connects the fetus to the mother. Typically, this opening must close after birth. However, if the muscles do not allow a closure of the opening, the abdominal cavity develops a form of weakness leading to belly button hernia at birth.
In Adults
Excessive stress, lack of adequate sleep, a faulty diet, and barring regular exercise are the basic reasons for the occurrence of hernia in adults. It appears in the form of a lump, which is located behind the navel. In adults, surgery is suggested to avoid serious complications. Soreness and pain are the side effects of hernia. Pregnant women, too, may suffer from hernia causing a lot of pain in the abdominal region.
Prominent Symptoms

☛ An umbilical hernia is marked by inflammation near the navel region.
☛ There is a visible bulge in the area, which may protrude, or come into prominence if you strain the area, or endure spasmodic coughing.
☛ In infants, the condition is recorded to inflict little to no pain; however, in adults, umbilical hernia may prove to be a serious cause of pain contributing to discomfort.
See the Doctor ...

If you notice a prominent bulge
✆ If the region becomes painful and sore
✆ If the adult/baby disgorges
✆ If you notice discoloration of the bulge
Complications If Not Treated
There are no complications recorded so far with regard to children. However, in adults, complications have been observed. The bulge or protrusion of the section of the intestine may endure pressure leading to strangulation. This truncates the blood supply completely, resulting in what is regarded as strangulated hernia, which may in extremely complicated cases lead to gangrene. The abdominal walls and the cavity in entirety, may be affected due to the inflammation posing a threat to the individual's well-being. If a situation of this ilk occurs, an emergency surgery ought to be conducted.
As far as diagnosis in babies is concerned, it is through physical examination that the doctor gathers the requisite information. The doctor may look for possibilities to push the bulge back into its position. In adults, too, it is with the help of physical examination and certain medical procedures that the condition may be diagnosed. An ultrasound of the abdomen, or the conduction of an X-ray may be prescribed to grasp the propensity of the condition.
Performing surgery becomes important if the hernia is stuck abruptly in a bulging position. In fact, surgery is the only available option if complications, like non-closure by the age of 4 and insufficient, or cut off in the blood supply arises. Surgery, considerably reduces the risk of the hernia growing with the passage of time. So far, it has not been proved scientifically that the use of bandages and other such articles are useful in the reduction of the hernia. Thus, these methods may not be guaranteed to seek desired results. During the actual surgery, the surgeon may either stitch the abdominal walls, or simply use a mesh and then stitch it to the walls of the abdomen. The surgical process is simple and is usually performed by giving the patient general anesthesia. Preparing children for the surgery can be quite challenging at times, and it requires patience and presence of mind.
The surgery begins only after the patient is administered with anesthesia. The surgeon will use his surgical knife to make a cut in the abdominal region. The next step is to detect the hernia and separate it from the tissues that are found around it. After removal, the surgeon will use strong stitches, or place a mesh piece for fast healing of the deep cut. The mesh piece is permanently placed to avoid a relapse of the condition.
When Is Surgery Recommended
Generally, in infants, the opening narrows down and closes all by itself before the baby turns 1. If the condition is diagnosed, and the situation is conducive, the doctor may push the bulge back without surgical intervention. However, surgery ought to be the only option for children in order to treat belly button hernia due to the contributing factors undermentioned:
❒ The region feels extremely sore and painful.
❒ The hernia bulges further and does not cease to reduce in size even after 6 to 12 months.
❒ The condition poses a threat to the well-being of the child, especially in cases of incarceration.
For adults, surgery becomes a must if the pain and discomfort starts to affect mundane activities. One, indeed, runs a risk of incarceration and developing gangrene, calling for an emergency surgical procedure to be conducted.
What to Expect Post Surgery

» You may experience pain and notice a marginal degree of swelling in the operated area.
» Your concerned surgeon may prescribe suitable over-the-counter medication to reduce post-surgery discomfort. As anesthesia is administered, feeling disoriented is one commonplace effect.
» You may feel uncomfortable around the operated region; however, rest and avoiding activities that strain the region may help you recover faster.
What You Must Do

» Most patients return to normalcy within a few days post surgery. It is suggested that you avoid heavy physical activities.
» Exercise, but in moderation. A stroll in your backyard is all you need.
» Consult your surgeon with regard to driving and getting back to your desk. A strain may lead to unnecessary complications, and we don't want this to happen, do we?
» Keep a tab on your diet. Spicy and fatty foods must be avoided for a few weeks, or as directed by the surgeon.
» If you are prescribed an antibiotic course, stick to it. Do not leave it when you are halfway through, only to rediscover the pain and discomfort, inviting undue labor in the bargain.
Disclaimer: The article published herein, is meant to accomplish pedagogical purposes only. The recommendations mentioned hereby may not be generically applicable. The information, by no means, intends to supplant the diagnosis and advice imparted by the medical practitioner.
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