Umbilical hernia is a very common abnormality of the belly button that occurs in most babies’ first years of life. Although parents become very concerned when they find out that their child has been diagnosed with umbilical hernia, there is virtually no reason to be worried about. Apart from being “in-esthetic”, umbilical hernia raises no major physiological issues. This type of hernia is a mild disorder that doesn’t interfere with the normal development of the child. Umbilical hernia is a post-natal abnormality of the belly button that occurs in more than 10 percent of all babies. This umbilical abnormality is commonly developed by girls and prematurely born infants and it is usually revealed in babies older than 6 months, rarely occurring prior to this age.
Umbilical hernia occurs when the umbilical ring fails to close properly, causing the belly button to swell. The swelling of the belly button induces babies a state of local discomfort and sometimes a small degree of soreness. In some cases, umbilical hernia can be accentuated by the babies’ movement and straining. The disorder doesn’t generate any other symptoms and it involves no risk of complication. Although umbilical hernia may sound and look serious, the disorder is in fact a very mild physiological affection.
Umbilical hernia can be easily revealed by a physical examination and the process of diagnosing the disorder doesn’t involve performing additional tests. Unlike other forms of hernia, which commonly require surgical intervention, umbilical hernia generally disappears by itself within the babies’ first years of life. Statistics indicate that more than 90 percent of umbilical hernias disappear by the age of 12 months without medical intervention. However, in some cases this type of hernia can persist for a few years, causing children further distress and discomfort. Rarely, umbilical hernia can even persist until kindergarten or primary school.
The treatment for umbilical hernia rarely involves surgery. Due to the mild character of the disorder, doctors prefer to correct umbilical hernia through other means rather than surgical intervention. In order to correct this type of hernia, doctors usually choose to strap up the umbilical region with sterile bandages after carefully pushing the prominent extremities of the belly button back into place. After the belly button has been correctly positioned, the straps will prevent it from sticking out, allowing the belly ring to heal properly. By using this technique, umbilical hernia heals very fast, leaving babies with no visible scars.
In rare cases, if umbilical hernia is very large or persistent, doctors may suggest correcting it through surgical intervention. The surgical intervention for umbilical hernia is very simple and doesn’t involve any risks. The incisions performed during the surgical intervention are small and they heal without leaving any permanent marks.