What is umbilical hernia?
The umbilical hernia is a defect of the abdominal wall, which is present from the moment of birth due to lack of closure of the umbilical ring through which the umbilical arteries and vein passed during the fetal period. In most cases, this defect closes in the first 5 years of life without the need for treatment.
What are the symptoms?
Most cases show no symptoms. The main symptom is the presence of a lump in the navel that easily disappears when pressed. In very rare cases, the lump can cause pain with the impossibility of reducing it, which is why it should be consulted in an emergency.
How is it diagnosed?
By physical examination. In the event of a diagnostic doubt, an ultrasound of the abdominal wall can be performed to confirm the diagnosis.
What is the treatment?
The use of bandages, adhesive tapes and, in general, external compression mechanisms on the hernia, are not recommended because they are ineffective and because they can sometimes be harmful, causing lacerations, irritation or infection of the skin. Only hernias with a diameter of more than 2,5 cm have little chance of spontaneous closure, so surgical resolution is recommended, as well as in cases of persistence beyond 5 years of age. In the case of girls, closure before fertile age is especially advised, as increased intra-abdominal pressure during pregnancy can complicate hernia.
What does the operation consist of?
The intervention is performed on an outpatient basis (admission, intervention and discharge on the same day). An incision is made in the skin just below the navel and the defect is closed by suturing the defect and closing the incision in the skin. There is usually no pain in the postoperative period and within a few hours the patient can carry on relatively normal activity.
What are the possible complications?
As with any surgery, there may be infections, bleeding, or problems with healing. Recurrence is very rare.