What is Umbilical Hernia?
Hernia; means that a tissue escapes from a tear, hole or gap into another tissue. It is the situation in which the organs in the abdomen are thrown out from where they are from one of the weak areas in the abdominal wall or as a result of increased intra-abdominal pressure. Umbilical hernia usually occurs around or below the navel (umbilicus).
This can occur in areas where the abdominal wall is weak. When intra-abdominal pressure increases (for example, heavy lifting, coughing, sneezing) or when weak spots become wider, internal organs can be pushed out of the abdominal wall. This can often lead to symptoms such as bloating, pain or tenderness. In infants, babies born prematurely and underweight are at risk.
What are the Causes of Umbilical Hernia?
Congenital Weak Abdominal Wall:
Some people may have a congenital weak abdominal wall. This can increase the risk of a hernia.
Excessive Intra-Abdominal Pressure:
When the intra-abdominal pressure rises suddenly or is constantly high, the internal organs may be pushed out from weak areas of the abdominal wall. For example, activities such as heavy lifting, coughing, sneezing, and straining can increase intra-abdominal pressure.
In overweight or obese individuals, weak areas of the abdominal wall may be under more pressure and the risk of hernia may increase.
During pregnancy, intra-abdominal pressure increases and weak areas on the abdominal wall become more prominent. Therefore, an umbilical hernia can develop during pregnancy.
Excessive Exercise or Vigorous Activities:
Excessive exercise or heavy physical activity can increase intra-abdominal pressure and cause hernia formation in weak areas.
As we age, the abdominal wall often weakens and loses its elasticity, which can increase the risk of hernia formation.
If you have a family history of umbilical hernia, genetic factors may also increase the risk of developing this condition.
What are the Symptoms of Umbilical Hernia?
Bloating and Blistering:
A feeling of bloating, swelling or lump may be seen in or below the navel area. This bulge may become more noticeable, especially when you strain or lift heavy.
Pain and Discomfort:
People with umbilical hernia may experience pain or discomfort in the abdomen. This pain may occur due to compression or irritation of the herniated tissue.
Burning and Stinging Sensation:
When herniated tissue or internal organs are compressed, a burning or stinging sensation may occur in the abdomen.
Tightness or Tenderness:
The skin around the hernia area may become tender and feel tight when you touch or apply pressure.
Pushing and Pulling Sensation of Hernia Content:
Some people with umbilical hernias may have the feeling that their internal organs are being pushed and pulled outward from the herniated area.
As the hernia grows or symptoms increase, posture disorders or changes in body position may be seen.
Nausea or Vomiting:
Although rare, symptoms such as nausea or vomiting may occur due to compression of the herniated tissue or impaired blood circulation.
Umbilical Hernia Treatment in Adults
Surgical intervention is often recommended for treatment of umbilical hernia in adults, since the risk of complications is higher than in children. Compression of the hernia is a condition that slows down or completely stops blood flow to the hernia tissue. In order not to develop such a situation and to avoid a life-threatening infection, the hernia is surgically pushed back into place.
During the operation, an incision is made near the belly button and the herniated tissue is pushed back into the abdominal cavity. Such operations, which are made through a thin incision, are performed closed (laparoscopically).
Umbilical hernia operation is performed under general anesthesia in most cases; It takes about half an hour on average. The hole in the abdominal wall is sutured and closed. If the hole or gap that causes the intestinal tissue to escape out is large, this gap is knitted using a special mesh system. After the operation, it is recommended to use a corset.
Umbilical hernia surgery is quite simple, and both infants and adults recover quickly. The patient can return to his normal life in a short time. However, although rare, some complications may occur, as with all surgical interventions. The first of these is the formation of infection in the place where the suture is located.
The seam can become infected for any reason; There may be painful swelling, redness, red or yellow inflamed discharge. Another post-operative complication is bleeding in the area of the stitches. In some cases, the stitches may open and the hernia may recur. Some patients stated that their belly button looked different than before after the operation. However, these complications are extremely rare.
What is the Post-Surgery Recovery Process?
Patients can usually be discharged on the same day after this operation. Since children are mostly treated without stitches, the recovery period is shorter than in adults. However, children are asked to take a break from school for 1-2 weeks and rest at home. Recovery time may vary depending on the location of the hernia in adults, the person’s disease history, age and physical condition.
It is recommended to avoid intense physical activity and take a break from work or school for a few weeks. If no complications develop during this period, full recovery is achieved in adults within a month. If the conditions that create the hernia do not change, the hernia may recur, albeit rarely.