An umbilical hernia occurs when part of the intestine protrudes through an opening in the abdominal muscles. Umbilical hernia is a common and typically harmless condition. Umbilical hernias are most common in infants, but they can affect adults as well. In an infant, an umbilical hernia may be especially evident when the infant cries, causing the baby's bellybutton to protrude. This is a classic sign of an umbilical hernia.
Many umbilical hernias close on their own by age 1, though some take longer to heal. To prevent complications, umbilical hernias that don't disappear by age 3 or those that appear during adulthood may need surgical repair.
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.