What Is an Umbilical Hernia?

Umbilical Hernia New York, NY

An umbilical hernia is a bulge at the belly button. It is a common phenomenon and about 10- 20% of children develop an umbilical hernia. In general, a hernia is when part of the intestine protrudes through the abdominal muscle wall. A hernia most commonly occurs from overexertion, particularly lifting excessively heavy objects. This kind of hernia is a subdermal wound, a tear in the abdominal muscles. A segment of the intestine then protrudes into the wound, creating a visible lump beneath the skin.

What is a hernia?

Early forewarnings of a mild or imminent hernia may be discoloration of the skin or swelling. It usually occurs at places within the body where there is a weakness or natural problem. Ignoring the first signs of hernia can result in long-term pain and injury. A hernia typically occurs in the lower abdomen or upper groin.

A mild or impending hernia may manifest as a persistent line of bruising or discolored skin. A severe hernia produces a visible lump beneath the skin. Depending on the type of hernia, the lump may be hard or soft. Also, it may be visibly inflamed or painful to the touch.

An umbilical hernia, in particular, is called so because it occurs near the navel, where the umbilical cord once attached. Here, there is a small gap in the abdominal wall. This usually heals in infancy, but in some people remains weaker than the rest of the muscle wall. Thus, this part of the body is susceptible to a particular injury of overexertion.

Treatments for umbilical hernia

An umbilical hernia is usually treated surgically. An incision is made near the injury and the intestine is tucked back into place behind the muscular wall. Then, a polymer mesh is inserted between the skin and the muscle. The mesh acts as a support, bracing the injured muscle so that the intestine does not push through again.

For a mild hernia, a corset or truss may assist healing without surgery. The corset supports the abdominal muscles, which helps hold the herniated organ in its proper place. This is not an alternative to proper medical attention, however. Treating a hernia in this way still requires medical supervision.

The proper treatment should be prevention. Hernias are largely caused by overexertion. Too much strain on the muscles can cause them to tear, with hernias only one on a list of potential injuries. Proper care when lifting heavy objects precludes a great many accidents, including most hernias. Where a person already suspects a mild hernia or has suffered one in the past, then overexertion poses a real risk of further injury. Patients describe a hernia as a sharp, hot, ripping pain, ranging from a mild twinge to utterly debilitating spasms.

Getting treatment for an umbilical hernia

An umbilical hernia is not going to heal on its own. The time to get treatment is as soon as the hernia appears symptomatic. As soon as it shows visible symptoms or causes pain, seek medical advice urgently. Until treated, it will be an ongoing worry and increasing source of discomfort and pain.

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