8.2.18

Little Children, Little Troubles: How to Treat Umbilical Hernia

Umbilical hernia in children is pretty common. It appears quickly, but it takes time and patience of the parents to treat it. Why does umbilical hernia occur and how can it be treated?

 

What does umbilical hernia look like?

Umbilical hernia is nothing more than the bulging of internal organs of the baby, which can be clearly seen through the front wall of the abdomen. Why do the organs bulge outwards? This happens because the umbilical ring muscles are still very weak. The umbilicus of a baby appears in the area of the umbilical ring, which usually heals during the first month of life.

In other cases (when there is no complete closure of the ring), umbilical hernia is formed: the internal organs of the child (part of the intestines, etc.) “pop out” under the skin through the resulting cavity.

How does umbilical hernia look like? It is easy to see, since it has a round convex shape and is located around the umbilicus of the baby, which protrudes 5 to 10 mm.

It is the easiest to see hernia, when a baby is crying or tensing its stomach during defecation. The bulge itself is soft and “comes back”, if you press it a little. The intestine can make rumbling sounds when pushing the bulge.

If you find umbilical hernia in your baby, you should immediately consult a surgeon. Only a doctor can prescribe appropriate treatment, based on the state of health of the child.

 

Hernia causes

Umbilical hernia can be both congenital and acquired. In the first case, hernia results from:

  • Influence of the hereditary factor (when the parents have weak anterior abdominal wall),
  • Weakening of the umbilical ring muscles (due to infectious diseases, as well as chemical and physical effects on the fetus),
  • Improper development of connective tissue (when the umbilical ring is incorrectly formed in the first month after birth).

Acquired umbilical hernia is a result of the following:

  • Rickets, hypotrophy,
  • Constipation and colic,
  • Severe flatulence,
  • Long crying.

Thus, it is the prolonged tension of the abdominal muscles that leads to only partial healing of the umbilical ring and, consequently, the development of hernia.

 

Is umbilical hernia treatable?

After examining the baby, a doctor may recommend a conservative or surgical method of treatment. Statistics shows that in 99% of cases umbilical hernia disappears by 2 to 5 years of age. To speed up the process of its self-elimination, the following conservative measures can be taken:

  • Massage,
  • Therapeutic exercises,
  • Proper feeding,
  • Applying a special bandage to the site of the umbilical hernia.

If conservative treatment is ineffective, a surgical operation is performed, which involves returning the bulging organs to their place and closing the hernial sac.

During umbilical hernia treatment, it is recommended to include vitamin C in the liquid food ration. This vitamin strengthens collagen fibres, thereby accelerating the healing process of umbilical hernia after manual or surgical manipulations.


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8.2.18  21:22