Healing of a newborn’s belly button is one of the milestones new parents wait for in anticipation. After approximately two weeks of delicate handling and care, the parents expect the peg to fall off, revealing an infection-free navel. While a small navel is usually the parents’ expectation, sometimes the navel may appear hard, with a slight bulge. Closure of your child’s abdominal muscles below the navel happens when the infant is still in your womb. However, sometimes the complete closure of the abdominal ring might fail, resulting in a weak spot or hole. Thanks to the weak spot, you may notice a significant bump pushing through the navel that hardens when the young one strains, coughs, or cries due to increased pressure in your abdomen. Hernias are not a preserve for infants and young children, adults can also have the condition. Your trusted McKinney bariatric, general & laparoscopic surgeon Michael Sutker, MD, states that though most hernias appear in your abdominal areas, they can also develop in other parts of your body. While some tissue and muscle weaknesses develop in infancy, most hernias will develop later in life.
What happens when the umbilical hernia fails to resolve?
Most umbilical hernias close independently before the baby reaches five years. Unfortunately, a hernia may fail to disappear in other instances, cutting the blood supply to his intestines. Your pediatric surgeon might recommend a surgical procedure to repair the defect in such situations.
What are the various hernia types you are likely to have?
Your doctor will specify the type of hernia depending on the bulge’s location. For instance:
- Umbilical hernia
The type of hernia mostly develops in babies in areas close to their belly buttons. Umbilical hernias happen when the child’s intestinal hoop pushes through an opening that fails to close entirely in the newborn’s umbilical ring. However, the hernia might resolve when the gap eventually closes, around the age of five.
- Femoral hernia
The lumps in this type of hernia appear in your upper thigh, usually in areas near your groin. Femoral hernias result from your bowel pushing through a weak spot in your abdomen.
- Inguinal hernia
These are the most common and they develop when your intestines capitalize on a tear or weak area in your lower abdomen, usually in your inguinal canal. However, inguinal hernias mainly affect men because their testicles drop through the inguinal canal in the initial developmental milestones.
- Hiatal hernia
Though the hernia type is most common in individuals around the age of 50 years, it might occur as a congenital disability in an infant. It happens when a part of your stomach forces itself through the diaphragm into the chest cavity. You are likely to have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) with hiatal hernia.
- Epigastric hernia
Such hernias result from tissue pushing through the areas between your belly button and breastbone.
A hernia might not affect your life significantly. However, you should not delay seeking professional help when the bump becomes painful because of pressure resulting from straining. The symptoms may indicate something more than a simple bump. Contact your doctor for more inquiries about the different hernias and how they affect your health.