Umbilical Hernia in children — what to do?
Often parents pay visit to us with their child with a soft reducible swelling at the umbilicus, what we call Umbilical Hernia. It is the abnormal protrusion of organ through umbilical opening due to imperfect closure of the opening. It creates anxiety and tension to parents. The age range of the children having the condition is usually 3 months to 3 years. It reduces with gurgle sound.
My intention of writing this article to convey parents a simple message — do not be afraid of the condition. If there is no underlying cause as mentioned earlier it will subside within one to two years without any treatment. Hot compression, pressure bandage, strapping and application of sticking plaster are of no use, rather may complicate the condition.
Surgical intervention is rarely needed. But if the Hernia persists for five years or more, progressively increases in size or unfortunately there is strangulation of the Hernia, surgery is indicated.
But assuring you again, in most of the cases (more than 95 percent) it subsides within a couple of years. So, there is no reason to get worried or to do anything extra. Have patience, in course of time everything will be fine.