An umbilical hernia creates a soft swelling or bulge near the navel (umbilicus). If your baby has an umbilical hernia, you may notice the bulge only when he or she cries, coughs or strains. The bulge may disappear when your baby is calm or lies on his or her back.
Umbilical hernias in children are usually painless. Umbilical hernias that appear during adulthood may cause abdominal discomfort.
When to see a doctor
If you suspect that your baby has an umbilical hernia, talk with your child's pediatrician. Seek emergency care if your baby has an umbilical hernia and:
- Your baby appears to be in pain
- Your baby begins to vomit
- The bulge becomes tender, swollen or discolored
Similar guidelines apply to adults. Talk with your doctor if you have a bulge near your navel. Seek emergency care if the bulge becomes painful or tender. Prompt diagnosis and treatment can help prevent 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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