Umbilical Hernia

This type of hernia presents as a protuberance through the umbilicus. It may be a small lump or it may be a large lump. It initially shows itself only after coughing or straining. At this time, it may not be painful. It slowly progresses in size and in degree of pain. Depending on the contents of the hernia, there may be associated bowel related symptoms in the form of vomiting, constipation and abdominal distension.

These herniae may present congenitally or later on in life. They may be seen in patients in whom the intraabdominal pressures tend to be high, like those with a chronic cough or constipation, multiparous women and patients with ascites or collected fluid in the abdomen.

These herniae are treated surgically by the procedures of herniorrhaphy, in which the patient’s own tissues are sutured together to close and strengthen the defect or hernioplasty, in which a foreign material such as a mesh made of polypropylene is used to reinforce the defect.