Umbilical hernia surgeon Gold Coast

Everything you need to know about umbilical hernias

When a noticeable bulge has formed in or near your belly button, you may have an umbilical hernia. It’s a condition where a part of the intestines or fatty tissue pushes through a weak spot in the abdominal wall in your navel area. On this page, we will explain the symptoms and how umbilical hernias are treated. 

Umbilical hernia explained

What are umbilical hernias?

An umbilical hernia occurs when fatty tissue or a part of the intestines pokes through a weak spot in the abdominal wall near your belly button. They are common in babies but can also develop in adults when the layers of their abdominal wall don’t completely join. 

An umbilical hernia typically protrudes from the belly button area, whereas a paraumbilical hernia occurs just above or below the belly button. 

Dr Candice Silverman
Hernia Surgeon Gold Coast

Umbilical hernias in babies occur when the belly button hole, where the umbilical cord was, doesn’t close up properly after birth, due to a weakness in these muscles. 

In adults, an umbilical hernia occurs when weakened abdominal walls are combined with one or more of the following contributing factors:

  • Obesity
  • Multiple pregnancies
  • A heavy cough
  • Surgery of the abdomen
  • Straining caused by constipation
  • Heavy lifting

Umbilical hernia symptoms

In some cases, you may just see a bulge in the belly button area without experiencing any other symptoms. 

How are umbilical hernias diagnosed?

Typically, your doctor will perform a physical exam: when you’re standing up or being asked to cough, they should see and feel the hernia. When they think you may have an umbilical hernia, they may order some more detailed tests like a CT scan or ultrasound of the abdomen to determine the severity of the hernia. 

Umbilical hernia surgeon Gold Coast

How are umbilical hernias treated?

Adults can push their hernia back in through the abdominal wall, but if it causes persistent pain or discomfort, or it’s been there for longer than two years, hernia surgery may be required.
Dr Anna Isaacs
Hernia Surgeon Gold Coast

If an umbilical hernia gets trapped (incarcerated) or its blood supply gets cut off (strangulated), it’s a serious situation that can be life-threatening. It’s important to seek immediate medical attention in such cases. 

Umbilical hernia repair

Repairing an umbilical hernia is generally completed in less than 30 minutes. Even though it is a short procedure, you will still receive a general anaesthetic. The process involves making a small incision near the belly button, pushing the protruding tissue or hernial sac back inside the abdominal cavity and reinforcing the weakened area with a synthetic mesh. We may need to insert a temporary drain to remove any fluid that gathers in the wound. In that case, it will be there for one or two days. 

Hernia repair Gold Coast, Lismore and Byron Bay

Core Specialist Group for hernia repair

At Core Specialist Group, your health and comfort are our highest priority. If you have been told you may have an umbilical hernia, and are looking for compassionate and exceptional patient care, please get in touch with our friendly team. With consulting rooms in Tugun, Lismore (NSW) and Byron Bay (NSW) we will make you feel at ease in the lead up to your consultation and possible surgery.

Core Specialist Group Gold Coast

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