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Pediatric Umbilical Hernia (Belly Button)

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Summary

An umbilical hernia located in the belly button area, umbilical hernias typically closes within a couple of weeks after the baby is born but some close more slowly than others

Expended Overview

Before a baby is born, the umbilical cord goes through an opening in the muscle of the abdominal wall.  Once the baby is born, the opening should close.  Some close more slowly than others.  Openings that persists more than a couple of weeks after the baby is born allow intestine to come out of the abdomen and cause the skin of the belly button to bulge.  This is an umbilical hernia.  Some are large and some are small. 

Umbilical Hernias:

  • rarely cause symptoms
  • is very likely to close on its own
  • the belly button will typically look better if surgery is not done
  • will require repair if they fail to close by the time the child is a few years’ old

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