Umbilical Hernia | Diagnosis and Treatment

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How is an umbilical hernia diagnosed?

After a physical exam, your child’s doctor will let you know if your child has an umbilical hernia. In most cases, umbilical hernias close by themselves. Usually, the doctor will watch and wait to see that this happens by the time your child is 4 or 5 years of age.

How is an umbilical hernia treated?

If the umbilical hernia has not closed by the time your child is 5 years old, surgery may be suggested to close it.

If surgery is necessary, general anesthesia is given, and the surgeon will make a small incision on the lower rim of the belly button. The hole in the muscle layer is then closed with stitches that will dissolve on their own over time. The possibility of the hernia returning is very small.

Most children go home the day of surgery. However, some children need to spend a night in the hospital for observation. Your child may still look swollen around the belly button, but this will begin to go away within the first couple of weeks after the surgery.

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