Umbilical Hernia

Umbilical Hernia

  • An umbilical hernia is a health condition where the abdominal wall behind the navel is damaged as the hernia protrudes through the umbilical opening in the abdominal muscles. 
  • It mostly occurs in babies when the opening in the abdominal muscle that allows the umbilical cord to pass through fails to close completely. 
  • It causes a chunk consisting of abdominal fat from the greater omentum or small intestine parts to bulge the navel outwards. It may “pop out” when coughing or otherwise put excessive intra-abdominal pressure. 
  • This bulge can often be pressed back through the hole in the abdominal wall. Also, the surgical treatment for umbilical hernia can be performed for cosmetic as well as health-related reasons.

Signs and Symptoms

  • In babies, the following signs may suggest an umbilical hernia growth:
  • The baby cries in pain persistently
  • The infant vomits frequently
  • The occurrence of a lump over the abdomen
  • A lump that has started to discolour

Umbilical Hernia Repair

Laparoscopic Umbilical Hernia Repair

  • This surgery is usually performed under general anaesthesia unless a patient has some exceptional condition.
  • Three tiny incisions are made around the hernial growth to insert the laparoscopic camera and necessary operating tools.
  • The hernia sac is pushed back into the cavity, and the weakened opening in the wall is closed with sutures or a pressure dressing.

Open Umbilical Hernia Surgery

  • Open surgery involves a large incision (up to three inches) to be made over the hernial site and hence, is performed under general anaesthesia.
  • The surgeon makes a necessary length of the incision over the abdominal wall.
  • In children, the contents of the hernial sac are appropriately pushed back inside its membrane wall, and the muscles around the weak spot are sewed closed with sutures.
  • In adults, however, a synthetic mesh is then placed over the sewed portion to fortify it, and the exterior incision is closed.
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