Umbilical hernia: symptoms and treatment

Umbilical hernia in infants worries parents. However, it is the least dangerous form of the disease, which rarely requires rapid surgical response. A lot depends on the individual assessment of the situation. How can you tell if your child has a hernia? What symptoms are worth paying attention to? And what should be the first steps for a parent who suspects that the problem may be umbilical hernia?

Umbilical hernia, or what?

Umbilical hernia is a change that is often seen in patients Baby. It is diagnosed many times in children suffering from constipation, colic, often crying. The main symptom is bulge around the navel. Fortunately, a hernia does not threaten the child's life, usually it is not painful, there is no fear that as a result of oppression the child experiences discomfort.

A hernia occurs, when the large intestine, fat or other fluids are pushed out through a weak spot or hole in the abdomen. This is because babies still have weak stomach muscles, so vulnerabilities are found in thin areas on the stomach. During crying, screaming or straining in the tummy pressure increases which somehow pushes the intestines up. Those encountering resistance are able to get higher, which we observe in the form of an umbilical hernia.

Most often, weaker muscles are observed in the navel area, hence the name - umbilical hernia. It has a connection with the area called an umbilical ring formed by muscles, tissues and blood vessels. Umbilical cord muscle usually closes before delivery. Unfortunately, not all children (scientists still do not know why this happens), which is conducive to tissue bulge. It is worth adding that a hernia can also arise above the navel or in any area on the abdomen.

Umbilical hernia: symptoms

An umbilical hernia may be visible in a newborn baby after the umbilical stump has fallen off. However, it often appears in older children.

The main symptoms are:

  • soft bulge under the skin of the navel,
  • it is possible to push a part of the bulge inside,
  • the bulge is usually better seen when the child is sitting or standing, as well as when coughing, crying or defecating.

Hernia in a child can have different sizes: from walnut to tangerine. Usually, however, in a small child its diameter is not more than 2.5 centimeters.

Disturbing symptoms that may indicate an umbilical hernia (attention, immediate medical attention required) are:

  • stomach pain,
  • vomiting,
  • swollen belly.

How is umbilical hernia diagnosed?

Umbilical hernia can be diagnosed during a physical examination. The doctor is able to assess the child's condition by touching the tummy. Often, for a complete picture, ultrasound is also ordered.

After finding a hernia, the doctor will most likely invite you to follow-up visits, to determine if the hernia will close itself. During this time, it is usually recommended to put the baby on his tummy often to naturally strengthen the muscles and prevent "intestinal leakage". In addition, the doctor may pay attention to reduce the situation when the toddler is crying, trying to quickly and effectively respond to signs of impatience. He will probably also pay attention to the diet and feeding method to exclude the problem of constipation and colic as much as possible.

Often before the baby is one year old, the hernia disappears by itself. If this does not happen, especially before the age of 5, it becomes necessary surgery under general anesthesia. Most surgery is planned at 6-7 years of age.

However, he or she can motivate the doctor and parents for earlier surgery hernia size (when the hernia is large) and when clearly disturbs the child in everyday functioning. The surgery is necessary immediately when the toddler suffers from pain, swelling or comes to the situation when the intestines become trapped - which fortunately happens very rarely.

One operation is usually enough to remove a hernia. In a few cases, you have to make an appointment for two treatments, especially when the hernia was large and the abdominal wall needs correction. Complications during surgery are very rare.