A hernia in belly button is more formally known as an umbilical hernia. This condition may or may not need correction depending on what caused it and the degree of severity. The hernia in belly button may involve just the fatty layers of the stomach, or may involve the abdominal internal organs. The following are the possible occurrences of umbilical hernias:
- In children, a hernia in belly button is often the result of the inadequate formation of abdominal muscles, which should close over the gap left by the umbilical cord going into the abdomen. The umbilical hernia may not always display, and in some cases only exposes itself when the baby inhales, because the pressure from the diaphragm upon breathing in compresses the abdomen, and the increased pressure induces the viscera to find a way to relieve itself through the weakness of the incomplete closure of the front abdominal wall. Statistically, children of African descent are more likely to have this form of hernia in belly button. Several of these occurrences can heal on their own, as the abdominal walls are still developing after birth.
- In adults, umbilical hernias are still the result of the weakness of the umbilical area. This may occur in adults that have had this problem in the past, or it may also be due to certain newer problems that increase internal abdominal pressure. Such factors would be frequent coughing, constipation, and other factors that cause the patient to bear down frequently. Other factors would be an increase in visceral fatty deposits, which increase the bulk of the viscera and therefore the internal pressure of the abdomen.
Hernias occur when the walls below the skin are not strong enough to hold back the pressure from the inside. The internal organs may go through this weakness and possibly enlarge it. There are some things to keep in mind to see whether the hernia in belly button needs medical expertise, listed below:
- If the hernia is abnormally large. A large, abnormal protrusion held back by the skin is almost always cause for medical attention. If the hernia is larger than the baby’s fist, take them to a surgeon or hospital as soon as possible.
- A hernia in belly button that has not gone away by three or four years old should already be medically examined. By this point, the abdominal walls should be strong enough to hold back the contents of the abdomen.
- If the intestine or other tissue is clearly visible behind the skin, or if you can feel it by palpating the hernia (viscera feel different from fat; viscera feels tougher and less pliant) then immediate medical attention and surgery is required as the herniated portions may lose blood flow and die.
- Any pain or discoloration in the area warrants medical attention. Frequent vomiting does too, as it implies that the intestines are experiencing a blockage, which in the context of umbilical hernias means that it is essentially clamped by the hernia.
Medical treatment for umbilical hernias usually consists of surgery. This is a very simple surgery and sometimes the patient does not even need to stay overnight in the hospital for it. It involves finding the hernia, placing the herniated parts back into the proper compartments, and then sealing up the hernia with stronger stitches. If the herniated parts are too badly damaged the surgeon may opt to cut them out instead of pushing them back in, but this will most likely not happen. It is best to err on the side of caution and let a medical professional examine it. If there is one thing that this article should have imparted on you it is that a hernia in belly button is not necessarily cause for alarm.