Umbilical hernia is a very common umbilical defect that occurs in most babies in the early years. Although parents are very concerned when they learn that their child has been diagnosed with an umbilical hernia, there is little cause for concern. The umbilical hernia is not only “unsightly” but also does not pose any major physiological problems. This type of hernia is a mild disorder that does not affect the child’s normal development. Umbilical hernia is a postnatal anomaly of the navel that occurs in more than 10% of all babies. This umbilical anomaly is common in girls and premature babies and usually occurs in babies over 6 months of age who rarely occur before this age.
An umbilical hernia occurs when the umbilical ring does not close properly and the navel swells. The swelling of the navel causes local discomfort and sometimes mild pain in the baby. In some cases, the umbilical hernia can be accentuated by the baby’s movements and efforts. The disorder produces no other symptoms and poses no risk of complications. Although umbilical hernia can look and feel serious, the disorder is actually a very mild physiological condition.
An umbilical hernia can easily be uncovered by a physical exam, and no additional tests are performed to diagnose the disorder. Unlike other forms of hernias that usually require surgery, an umbilical hernia usually goes away on its own in the first few years of the baby’s life. Statistics show that over 90 percent of umbilical hernias disappear at the age of 12 months without medical intervention. In some cases, however, this type of hernia can last for several years and cause further discomfort and discomfort in children. In rare cases, an umbilical hernia can persist up to kindergarten or primary school.
Treating an umbilical hernia rarely involves surgery. Because of the mild nature of the disorder, doctors prefer to correct the umbilical hernia other than through surgery. To correct this type of hernia, doctors usually tie the umbilical region with sterile bandages after gently pushing back the protruding ends of the umbilicus. Once the navel is properly positioned, the straps prevent it from sticking out so the belly ring can heal properly. With this technique, the umbilical hernia heals very quickly and leaves babies without visible scars.
In rare cases, when the umbilical hernia is very large or persistent, doctors may suggest surgery to correct it. Surgery for umbilical hernia is very simple and poses no risk. The incisions made during the operation are small and heal without permanent marks.