A physical examination can detect an umbilical hernia. Advanced screening may occasionally involve imaging tests like a Computed Tomography (CT) scan or abdominal ultrasound.
By the age of 1 or 2, most umbilical hernias in infants heal on their own. During a physical examination, your doctor might even be able to press the protrusion back into the abdomen. But do not try this on your own.
Despite what some people say, do not attempt to cure a hernia by taping a coin over the bulge. It does not help to cover the bulge with tape or another material because bacteria may gather there and spread infection.
Surgery usually is only performed on children with umbilical hernias that have become painful, are bigger than 1/4 to 3/4 inch (1 to 2 centimeters) in diameter and do not become smaller after two years old, do not resolve when the child has reached five years old; and has clogged the intestine.
Adults are often advised to undergo surgery to prevent complications, especially if the umbilical hernia grows or becomes uncomfortable.
A tiny incision is created near the belly button during surgery. The abdominal wall opening is sewn shut after the herniated tissue is pushed back into the abdominal cavity. Surgeons frequently use mesh to strengthen the abdominal wall in adults.
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