An umbilical hernia occurs when fatty tissue or a small part of the intestine protrudes from the weak part of the anterior abdominal wall.
The function of the anterior abdominal wall is to keep the organs behind and protect them from injuries resulting from any effects or pressure on the abdomen.
However, some people may have weak tissues in the abdominal wall, especially the area near the umbilicus, where this weak point becomes an opening that allows small parts of the abdominal contents to protrude from the abdominal wall and become directly under the skin.
An umbilical hernia occurs when part of the intestine protrudes through the umbilical opening in the abdominal muscles and most often occurs in infants less than 6 months.
What are the causes of an umbilical hernia?
-The child in the intrauterine period gets nutrition from his mother’s body through the umbilical cord.
-The umbilical cord extends directly to the abdomen through an opening in the abdominal wall of the fetus.
-Usually, the opening is closed after birth, but in some cases, it remains opened to make a weak abdominal wall in the area near the umbilicus.
-In children, the hernia is usually resolved within a few months or even a few years. However, in adulthood, the hernia rarely disappears on its own.
-Umbilical hernia requires treatment when a person is at risk of complications such as strangulated hernia, which means cutting off the blood supply to the intestines and tissues in the hernial sac.
Who is at risk of an umbilical hernia?
-Babies continue to grow after birth, for example, the skull continues to grow in weeks and months after the baby is born.
-The same thing in the abdominal wall, and the area where the umbilical cord passes is supposed to close itself and become strong like the rest of the wall.
-In some cases, the abdominal wall may still weak, and some cases are more at risk of developing a hernia, for example:
•Premature baby is at risk of developing a hernia, especially if he/she is less than a kilo and a half.
•People who are overweight or obese are at increased risk of developing an umbilical hernia.
•Pregnant women with twins are also at risk of developing an umbilical hernia.
•Compared to men, women are more likely to develop an umbilical hernia.
•A person with persistent cough can develop an umbilical hernia, as well as a person who carries heavy things.
Methods of treating umbilical hernia
Although umbilical hernia usually disappears spontaneously, especially in infants, in some cases it becomes a problem that must be treated to avoid complications which can be life-threatening.
Here you are some ways doctors treat umbilical hernia:
1/Open umbilical hernia surgery
This surgery is performed under general anesthesia, which means that the person must fast for a few hours before the procedure.
The surgeon will repair the umbilical hernia by making a small incision near the umbilicus to expose the hernia sac.
Then pushes any tissue into the hernia behind the abdominal wall, after that he will fix the wall, and in cases of infants and children; The wall is usually fixed with stitching, but in adults, it is often necessary to strengthen the abdominal wall with a mesh.
2/Endoscopic hernia surgery
This surgical technique is less invasive than open surgery. First, the surgeon makes a small incision, through which a thin endoscope is inserted into the abdomen.
The camera helps the surgeon see inside the abdomen without making a large incision only through the opening, and then, the surgeon makes some incisions that he uses to reach the hernia and the abdominal walls using surgical instruments.
Through these incisions; The surgeon pushes the protruding tissue back into the abdomen, and strengthens the abdominal wall, adds a 3D mesh to strengthen the abdominal muscles, and prevents the hernia from returning.
Fortunately, umbilical hernia repair operations are simple surgeries, and often do not require hospitalization, as umbilical open hernia surgery takes four to six weeks to heal, and a person should reduce their activity during this period.
As for endoscopic hernia repair operations, it takes a short time to heal, and the person who underwent the procedure should expect to return to normal activity within two to three weeks.