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Forum Name: Surgery Topics

Question: Will I need surgery on my umbilical hernia?


 Miss_Holzie - Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:34 am

Hi I was told I had an umbilical hernia two years ago! During my pregnancy due to carry a big baby with my small frame. The hernia hasn't caused any pain in the whole two years and I was confused when I read on the Internet surgery was advised, im wondering if this surgery is nesscessary as it now just looks like a normal outie bell button, I'm very slim and active I want to start ab training but I'm worried it will cause it to become worse. Please advise thank you
 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:37 am

User avatar Hi,
'True' umbilical hernias are common in children. However, they may occur in adults infrequently (usually in association with conditions causing increased intra-abdominal pressure such as, massive ascitis, obesity, pregnancy, intra-abdominal tumors etc).Some untreated congenital umbilical hernias may go on into adulthood.

More common in adults are the 'Para-umbilical hernias', which protrude from a defect in the linea alba close to the umbilicus (usually above the umbilicus).

They usually contain the greater omentum(omentocele). However, sometimes, they may contain the transverse colon or small gut. Frequently, they are multiloculated. Many of them are only partially reducible.These are very prone to get 'complicated' (incarceration, obstruction and strangulation).

Any evidence of redness, tenderness or tenseness should alert one to the possibility of strangulation and should lead to an emergency consultation with a surgeon. Redness may indicate a srangulation or an infection in a strangulated hernia. Strangulated omentoceles can go on to form abscesses.

In your instance, there are two possible scenarios:
- a congenital umbilical hernia (which was too small and thus overlooked), which got aggravated by pregnancy, or
- this is a para-umbilical hernia which got aggravated by pregnancy.

Ideally.you must consult a surgeon to confirm the nature of this hernia. If it happens to be a para-umbilical hernia, it should be operated upon at the earliest convenience. On the other hand, if it turns out to be a congenital umbilical hernia, there is a likelihood that it may enlarge with future pregnancies or even otherwise. Abdominal training also increases intra-abdominal pressure and can worsen it. However, it's management does not have the same level of urgency that is attached to the para-umbilical hernias.
Best wishes!

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