For children, complications of an umbilical hernia are rare. Complications can occur when the protruding abdominal tissue becomes trapped (incarcerated) and can no longer be pushed back into the abdominal cavity. This reduces the blood supply to the section of trapped intestine and can lead to umbilical pain and tissue damage. If the trapped portion of intestine is completely cut off from the blood supply (strangulated hernia), tissue death (gangrene) may occur. Infection may spread throughout the abdominal cavity, causing a life-threatening situation.
Adults with umbilical hernia are somewhat more likely to experience incarceration or obstruction of the intestines. Emergency surgery is typically required to treat these complications.
May. 09, 2012
- Hernias of the abdominal wall. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal_disorders/acute_abdomen_and_surgical_gastroenterology/hernias_of_the_abdominal_wall.html#v890814. Accessed March 23, 2012.
- Brandt ML. Pediatric hernias. Surgical Clinics of North America. 2008;88:27.
- Brooks DC. Overview of abdominal wall hernias. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed March 23, 2012.
- Palazzi DL, et al. Care of the umbilicus and management of umbilical disorders. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed March 23, 2012.
- Salameh JR. Primary and unusual abdominal wall hernias. Surgical Clinics of North America. 2008;88:45.
- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 24, 2012.
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