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What is Umbilical Hernia?

An umbilical hernia is a type of hernia that forms in the inner lining of the belly and pushes through the hole near the belly button. It often doesn’t cause any pain or discomfort in the earlier stage. But it doesn’t go away on its own as well. Thus, umbilical hernia repair is performed surgically. The purpose of the surgery is to push the protruding organ back in its original place and repair the hole safely with or without the help of reinforcement.

Umbilical hernia repair can be performed as an emergency or elective procedure. The doctor diagnoses the condition of the patient and analyzes the level of pain caused by the hernia and other symptoms. If the hernia is negatively affecting the life of the patient, then surgical repair is recommended.

Emergency umbilical hernia repair is usually performed on the patients who develop complications, such as strangulation or incarceration.


How does umbilical hernia form?

Umbilical hernia typically forms when the navel is damaged and the muscle wall loses its ability to keep the internal organs in place. It results in bulging around the belly button that can be pushed back inside. However, the bulge grows gradually and may become more noticeable whenever the intraabdominal pressure increases.

Most children and women get this type of hernia. Children get this hernia because the umbilical cord is recently cut and the muscles are weak. Due to this, when the child coughs or strains excessively, the organ pushes through the belly button and leads to an umbilical hernia. Similarly, women are more prone to getting umbilical hernias because of pregnancies, especially multiple pregnancies.


  • Congenital weakness
  • Excessive pressure on the abdominal wall
  • An open channel of the umbilical cord
  • Abdominal surgeries
  • Persistent cough


  • Swelling or bulge near the navel
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Tenderness around the bulge
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Discolored skin around the bulge


As umbilical hernias are usually painless, the condition may get undiagnosed for a long time. In children, the bulge around the navel may become visible when the child coughs or cries.

In adults, an umbilical hernia causes discomfort during activities that put pressure on the abdomen region. The bulge can be seen clearly. However, an expert would be able to tell you accurately about the type of hernia.



The severity of umbilical hernia is determined on the basis of problems it has been causing in the regular life of the individual. Normally, the progression of umbilical hernia can be prevented by taking preventive measures. However, if the following symptoms appear, it means that the condition has become severe-

  • Occasional pain that often becomes unbearable
  • Hernia cannot be pushed back inside
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • No bowel movements for more than 2 days

These symptoms are an indication that you should see a hernia specialist right away.


  • prevention



    Normally, an umbilical hernia develops due to congenital weakness in the muscle wall. In such scenarios, the hernia cannot be prevented. However, if there is no weakness in the abdominal muscle wall, the development of umbilical hernia can be prevented-

    • Exercise on a regular basis to strengthen the abdominal muscles. Also, make sure that you wear abdominal belts to perform weight training exercises.
    • Lifestyle and dietary changes are also required to reduce the chances of becoming obese. Obesity stretches the muscle wall and makes it thin which in turn increases the risk of hernias.
    • In most cases, hernia arises due to wrong lifting techniques. Therefore, it is important that you lift heavy objects using your legs instead of your back.
    • Treat chronic cough or bronchitis timely. Coughing strains the muscles excessively due to which the risk of getting umbilical hernia and other types of hernia increases.
    • Avoid smoking completely as it makes the muscles weak and compromises the immune system as well. Due to this, the individual becomes more prone to getting cough and cold more often which will lead to hernia development.
    • Chronic constipation is another major contributing factor to the development of an umbilical hernia. Therefore, it is important that you make healthy changes in your dietary habits and use laxatives or stool softeners to avoid straining.

When to consult an umbilical hernia doctor ?

It is advisable that you consult a hernia doctor as soon as you notice a bulge in or around the abdomen. Through timely treatment, you may be able to prevent the umbilical hernia from progressing. However, in many cases, the umbilical hernia goes undiagnosed for a long time if it doesn’t cause any pain. If the following symptoms appear, you should seek help from a hernia specialist right away-

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Skin discoloration
  • No bowel movement

Questions to ask your doctor

How many years of experience do you have in treating umbilical hernia?
How many cases have you handled and what is your success rate?
What is the best treatment method for an umbilical hernia?
How will you mitigate the risks and complications associated with the procedure?
Is it important to use hernia mesh for the repair?
Which technique will be used for hernia repair- open or laparoscopic?
Do I have to stay in the hospital? If so, how long?
Is the surgery painful?
How long will it take to recover completely after hernia surgery?
What are the chances of hernia recurrence after surgical repair?
Is there any alternative to hernia surgery?

Treatment Options & Cost

It is not possible to treat umbilical hernia or any other type of hernia without surgery. Lifestyle changes, medications, and support like truss can help to address the pain, swelling, and other symptoms. However, these methods won’t be effective in treating the root cause of the problem.


Insurance coverage

As umbilical hernia can cause life-threatening complications, its treatment comes under the category of critical illnesses. Thus, all insurance providers offer plans with ample coverage for the treatment of umbilical hernia. You can pay for the entire treatment by using the insurance policy.

It is advised that you talk to your health insurance providers to find out how much amount you can claim through your plan.


Recovery rate

The recovery after umbilical hernia surgery takes around 3-6 weeks. The actual period may be different for each patient based on the technique used for the repair and the patient’s healing abilities.

If the patient is healthy and open repair is done, the recovery will take around 4-6 weeks. In the same case, if laparoscopic repair is done, the recovery period will be around 3-4 weeks.

If the patient’s health is not optimal, then the recovery will be prolonged.



Why do umbilical hernias commonly occur in infants?

Umbilical cord is the connection between the mother and the baby which is cut off after the birth. Normally, the opening in the umbilical cord closes shortly after the child is born. However, in some cases, the opening may not close up and a hole will be left in the abdomen that makes the child more prone to umbilical hernia.

Is surgery required to treat umbilical hernia in children?

Normally, in children, umbilical hernia goes away within the first two years after birth. Hence, surgery is usually not required. However, if the hernia doesn’t go away, surgery will be planned once the child reaches the age of 4-5 years.

What is considered a large umbilical hernia?

A large umbilical hernia is one that is bigger than 3 cm. At this stage, the doctors usually recommends surgical treatment. The hernia is not considered that severe if the size is less than 3 cm and it is reducible. Once the bulge reaches this size, it becomes more problematic and need proper treatment at the earliest.

What type of anesthesia is used for umbilical hernia repair?

The type of anesthesia that will be used for umbilical hernia repair depends on the patient. The anesthetist checks if the patient is allergic to some component of the anesthestic agent and then make a decision regarding the type of hernia.

For how long does the hernia mesh stay inside the body?

Normally, the mesh can stay inside the body as long as the patient is comfortable. If it is not dissolvable or causing any problems in the body, there is no need for removal. But if there is a problem with hernia mesh, then a hernia mesh removal surgery will be needed.

Will umbilical hernia surgery leave a scar on the body?

If the open technique is used for hernia repair, the scarring on the body can be considerable and there are also chances that the scar will be clearly visible after healing. But if laparoscopic technique is used, the scars will be small and most likely to disappear shortly after the wound heals.

What is the right position to sleep after umbilical hernia surgery?

In the next few days after umbilical hernia surgery, you may still have difficulty in sleeping on your back. So, it is advised that you sleep in a half-sitting position with ample support behind the upper body. You can slowly start to lie on your back as the incision heals.

Get Advanced Umbilical Hernia Treatment at Pristyn Care

Whether you or your child has an umbilical hernia, Pristyn Care provides optimal treatment to all the patients who come to us seeking medical care. We have an experienced team of hernia specialists who have performed numerous surgeries with over 90% success rate. Our doctors excel at minimally invasive surgery as well as conventional procedures.

Pristyn Care is partnered with the best hospitals and clinics to provide the best-quality medical care and services to patients. We also have our own clinics where patients can walk in or book appointments with the best hernia doctors in their city.


Book Your Appointment with the Best Hernia Doctors Today

To book an appointment with the best hernia doctors near you, visit the Pristyn Care website and use any of the following ways to schedule your consultation-

  • Download the Pristyn Care mobile app and browse the list of hernia doctors available near you. Pick a doctor of your choice and book the consultation personally.
  • Fill the “Book Appointment” form and submit your details. Our representatives will get back to you to ask when and how you want to consult with the specialist.
  • Give us a call directly on the number given at the top and talk to our representatives directly. Discuss how and when you want to consult with the doctor and confirm the appointment.

You can also choose between offline or online consultation mode at your convenience.

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