Type of Surgery
Last updated: 02/17/2009
In children, umbilical hernias are often diagnosed at birth, usually when the doctor feels a lump in the area around the belly button. The hernia may also be diagnosed
if the child is crying from pain, because...
the crying will increase the pressure inside the abdomen and make the hernia more noticeable.
Umbilical hernias in adults occur more often in pregnant women and obese persons with weak stomach muscles. They may develop gradually without producing any discomfort, but the patient may see a bulge in the abdomen while bathing or getting dressed. Other patients consult their doctor because they have felt the tissues in the abdomen suddenly give way when they are having a bowel movement. In an office examination, the patient may be asked to lie down, lift the head, and cough. This action increases pressure inside the abdomen and causes the hernia to bulge outward.
A hernia that has become incarcerated or strangulated is a medical emergency. Its symptoms include:
- abdominal swelling or distension
- pale complexion
- weakness or dizziness
- extreme pain
When a hernia is present at birth, some surgeons may opt for a "wait and see" approach, as umbilical hernias in children often close by themselves with time. If the hernia has not closed by the time the child is three or four years old, then surgery is usually considered. If the hernia is very large, surgery may be recommended.
Repair of an umbilical hernia in an adult is usually considered elective surgery. The patient's surgeon may recommend the procedure, however, on the grounds that hernias in adults do not close by themselves and tend to grow larger over time.
Adults scheduled for a herniorraphy are given standard blood tests and a urinalysis. They should not eat breakfast on the morning of the procedure, and they should wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing that they can easily pull on after the surgery without straining their abdomen.
An umbilical hernia repair is a surgical procedure performed to fix a weakness in the abdominal wall or to close an opening near the umbilicus (navel) that has allowed abdominal contents to protrude. The abdominal contents may or may not be contained within a membrane or sac. The medical name for a hernia repair is herniorraphy.
Biliary colic is the presenting symptom in 80% of patients with gallstone disease who seek medical care; however, only 10-20% of all individuals with gallstones experience severe gallstone pain.
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