An umbilical hernia is a hernia that occurs at the umbilicus or “belly button”. This hernia can be present at birth or can develop gradually over time. About ten percent of infants are born with an umbilical hernia. Most of these “congenital” hernias will close by age five. If it does not close by this age, it should be surgically repaired to prevent complications from the hernia. Adults can develop umbilical hernias as well. These develop from wear and tear and pressure on what is a naturally weak area of the abdominal wall. These hernias can be asymptomatic or they can become painful and can enlarge. The ultimate danger of an umbilical hernia is that tissue or bowel can become trapped or “incarcerated” in the hernia. An umbilical hernia that becomes acutely painful, firm and red is an emergency and should be seen by a doctor immediately. All patients who have an umbilical hernia should have it evaluated by a doctor.
For further information, you can ask Dr. Ferzli.