Umbilical Hernia – a Harmless Form of Hernia – Signs and Treatment

Umbilical hernia is the least dangerous type of hernia and it appears very often at new born babies. It is a harmless illness that develops in the area of ​​the belly-button, or umbilicus. A number of new-born children have a weakness in the muscles located in that area and after they are born and the umbilical cord (the cord through which the mother gives her child all the substances that he needs to survive) is cut off because of this weaknesses the muscles give in to the pressure and allow a small opening to appear, through which abdominal content comes out and creates a lump or a bulge.

In some cases babies appeared to feel pain on and around the bulge. Many mothers believe that if they constantly put a coin on the bulge and push it inside it will actually disappear. No scientific studies were performed to test this method, so it is not known if it works or not. Although most of the umbilical hernia cases appear at a very young age, sometimes the muscles around the umbilicus can fail when the patient has reached adulthood too, if the person in cause is doing work that uses the abdominal muscles a lot and creates the same weakness that babies are born with.

The symptoms of umbilical hernia are represented only by the bulge that appears and nothing more. In most cases this lump pushes itself back inside if the baby is sitting on his back, but when he coughs, sneezes, or stands straight it is very visible.

Umbilical hernia does not require any treatment, it only needs to be kept under constant observation. This is because almost all umbilical hernias heal themselves before the child reaches three or four years of age. If the baby's bulge is too big it will close itself in a very long time, or it will not close at all, so in these case a visit to the doctor for an advice is needed. If the doctor decrees that the umbilical hernia is indeed to big and there are also small cases that it incarcerates (which happens very rarely) then he may recommend surgical treatment. Umbilical hernia is not usually treated through surgery because infections are vulnerable to anesthesia so it's better to let it close by itself rather than to encounter complications in surgery. However, if the child has passed the age of four and he still has the hernia surgery is recommended and at that age anesthesia is no longer a danger.

Many parents are applying 'home-made' tehniques to the umbilical hernia of their child, like forcing it to withdrawal by putting adhesive tape on it or by constantly putting a book or a similar object on the bulge. These methods are not recommended and they can cause irritations or infections to the baby's sensitive skin.

In conclusion, umbilical hernia is a harmless condition that heals itself in 90% of the cases, so the best thing you can do is to get a doctor's advice and then wait for it to heal without trying to speed up the process with unreformed methods.

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