For most people who are living with the discomfort of an umbilical hernia, surgery is recommended to repair the problem.
An umbilical hernia is the bulging out of the tissue near the belly button or navel. The hernia is caused when organs protrude from its original place due to the weakening of the surrounding tissues.
This results in a herniated sac that holds a part of the intestine, fat or fluid.
How do doctors diagnose umbilical hernia?
An experienced doctor diagnoses an umbilical hernia during a physical examination. They may also be able to determine what type of hernia it is. If the doctor wants to screen for complications, they may request an abdominal ultrasound, X-ray, CT scan or blood test.
What are the causes of umbilical hernia?
The most common causes of umbilical hernia in adults are:
Chronic health conditions that give abdominal pressure such as:
- Carrying excessive belly fluid
- Chronic cough
- Difficulty urinating due to an enlarged prostate
- Prolonged constipation
- Repetitive vomiting
- Straining such as during weight lifting or childbirth
Why do you need to repair umbilical hernia?
Repairing umbilical hernia can relieve pain and discomfort and make the bulge go away. You need surgery in both cases – when it is large or it bothers you. The reason being that a hernia will not heal on its own. Though, there are some natural hernia remedies which can help you ease the condition.
What happens in laparoscopic surgery for umbilical hernia?
Laparoscopic umbilical hernia repair has evidently replaced open surgery method. During laparoscopic surgery, the doctor makes small incisions around the bulge.
After this, a long, thin tube with a lighted camera on the end, also known as a laparoscope, is inserted through one of the incisions. It allows the surgeon to see inside your abdominal cavity on the screen.
The surgeon gently places the bulging tissue and abdominal lining back through the hole in the abdominal wall. Then they place the mesh into the abdomen to strengthen the area. Then they close the incisions using glue which is completely safe and dissolvable.
To begin normal daily activities, it can take up to 4 weeks to fully recover after open hernia surgery. But with the laparoscopic method, you will be able to recover within a week.
Cases, Which Require Delay in surgery
The surgery can be put off if:
- The hernia is small and there is no symptoms or if symptoms don’t bother you
- Hernia can be pushed back into the belly or when you lie down. (if not, surgery must be done sooner)
- You are pregnant
- You have other problems that make surgery dangerous
Consult a doctor before wearing the truss (belt) for a hernia. These devices aren’t recommended for treating hernias and sometimes can do more harm than good. There is a very slim chance that your doctor might think that a truss would work.
Over time, hernias tend to get bigger as the muscle wall of the belly gets weaker and more tissue bulges through. But some small, painless hernias never need repair.
What are the dangers of not treating umbilical hernia in adults?
Some people believe in the misconception that as the hernia is not causing any significant symptoms, it can cure on its own without any proper treatment.
In such cases, people believe delaying treatment is the best option. But what they fail to understand is that if the hernia is left untreated for long, not only the size of the bulge increases but also becomes more painful, more uncomfortable and in the worst-case scenario, life-threatening.
Can obesity be a problem too?
Although anyone can get hernia, the elderly, smokers and obese stand a much higher chance of developing one. It is now well-established that obesity can progressively cause and/or exacerbate a wide spectrum of co-morbidities, including
- Type 2 diabetes, mellitus
- Gallbladder disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
- Reproductive dysfunction
- Respiratory abnormalities
- Psychiatric conditions, and
- Increase the risk for certain types of cancer
Adults usually do not monitor their health issues as they should whether it is an umbilical hernia, hypertension, gallbladder disease or risk of cancer. Get your elders diagnosed for their better life. Book an appointment and consult a specialist for any further problems.
Also Read: Common Types of Hernias in Men!!