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An umbilical hernia is a bulge in the abdominal wall near the
navel (umbilicus) that sometimes contains abdominal tissue, a loop of
intestine, fat, or fluid. An umbilical hernia may be present at birth or develop shortly thereafter.
Most of these hernias are noticed when babies are a few days or weeks old, after the umbilical cord stump falls off. But infants and toddlers can get them too. In most cases, they heal without treatment. Sometimes surgery is needed.
Adults can have umbilical hernias too. They are more common in women and people who are obese. And treatment is usually needed.
An umbilical hernia
usually is not painful or dangerous.
Hernias can vary in size
from less than 0.4 in. (1 cm)
to more than 1.6 in. (4.1 cm)
across but are rarely more than
0.8 in. (2 cm) across.
Current as of:
September 9, 2014
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Brad W. Warner, MD - Pediatric Surgery
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