During pregnancy, the umbilical cord passes through a small opening in the baby's abdominal muscles. The opening normally closes just after birth. If the muscles don't join together completely in the midline of the abdomen, this weakness in the abdominal wall may cause an umbilical hernia at birth or later in life.
In adults, too much abdominal pressure can cause an umbilical hernia. Possible causes in adults include:
April 24, 2015
- Multiple pregnancies
- Fluid in the abdominal cavity (ascites)
- Previous abdominal surgery
- Chronic peritoneal dialysis
- Hernias of the abdominal wall. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal_disorders/acute_abdomen_and_surgical_gastroenterology/hernias_of_the_abdominal_wall.html#v890814. Accessed March 2, 2015.
- Kelly KB, et al. Pediatric abdominal wall defects. Surgical Clinics of North America. 2013;93:1255.
- Brooks DC. Overview of abdominal wall hernias. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 2, 2015.
- Palazzi DL, et al. Care of the umbilicus and management of umbilical disorders. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 2, 2015.
- Earle DB, et al. Repair of umbilical and epigastric hernias. Surgical Clinics of North America. 2013;93:1057.
- Barreto L, et al. Umbilical hernia. BMJ. 2013;347:f4252.
- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 12, 2015.
- Hassan AMA, et al. Outcome of sublay mesh repair in non-complicated umbilical hernia with liver cirrhosis and ascites. International Journal of Surgery. 2014;12:181.
- Cameron JL, et al. In: Current Surgical Therapy. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 15, 2015.