Umbilical hernia in the baby


Umbilical hernia


An umbilical hernia in a baby is usually completely harmless.

An umbilical hernia (umbilical hernia) is usually a completely harmless disease in the baby. The umbilical hernia is quite a common occurrence in newborns and infants.

On average, everyone suffers fifth Baby has an umbilical hernia in the first two years of life. In the case of premature children, four out of five children develop an umbilical hernia. The reason for this is an enlargement, which is naturally declining Muscle gaps in the abdominal wall. These "leaks" cause the affected baby to invade sections of the intestines and parts of the Peritoneum.

The forecast an umbilical hernia is quite good if treatment is initiated quickly. In most cases, all organs can without consequential damage stored back in the abdomen and the weak point in the abdominal wall stabilized. In many babies, the gap in the abdominal wall closes within the first few years of life without therapy.


A Umbilical hernia can generally trigger a range of symptoms. However, especially in babies, the symptoms are very typical when there is an umbilical hernia.

At first the navel begins to conspicuously outward bulgewithout causing discomfort. The baby only experiences pain if the hernial sac is trapped. When pressing or screaming, it can also be observed that there is a significant increase in the area of ​​the hernial sac Volume increase comes.
In the baby, the protruding navel can reach up to three centimeter measure and even continue to gain in volume. Furthermore, if there is an umbilical hernia, the protruding bump can usually be pushed back into the abdominal cavity by applying slight pressure. After a while, however, a renewed formation of the umbilical hernia can be observed.

Parents of affected babies should get one promptly if these symptoms are present Pediatrician but do not have to worry too much. A baby with an umbilical hernia is rarely in pain. An umbilical hernia that still causes pain must be treated surgically within a very short time. In such cases there is a risk of a so-called Incarceration (Entrapment) the umbilical hernia is present. However, the majority of the children affected actually do not notice any discomfort when the hernial sac emerges.


The main cause of the development of an umbilical hernia in a baby are Weak points in the field of Abdominal wall. These can arise either in the course of embryonic development (i.e. already in the womb) or through insufficient closure of the abdominal wall after birth.

In these cases, the reason is ultimately an enlarged one Umbilical ringthrough which the abdominal organs can turn outwards. Every baby naturally has such an umbilical ring. The umbilical cord responsible for caring for the child in the womb passes through it. However, after the remains of the umbilical cord fell off a few days after delivery, this umbilical ring should shrink significantly. Ideally, abdominal organs cannot escape through the umbilical ring. Only if there is one in a baby restricted Narrowing of the umbilical ring comes, an umbilical hernia can occur.

In addition, it can be observed that babies who press hard when crying or moving down a chair are more likely to suffer from an umbilical hernia. The reason for this is the fact that a sharp increase in the Pressure can widen the umbilical ring in the abdomen and thus push abdominal organs through.

Other causes for the development of an umbilical hernia are old Surgical scarswhich, due to their structure, represent weak points in the abdominal wall. Furthermore put Obesity and Diseases of the connective tissue are factors that promote the formation of umbilical hernias.

In everyday clinical practice it can also be observed that heavy loads of the muscles lead to the development of weak points in the abdominal wall and thus provoke an umbilical hernia. In addition, babies in particular suffer from the strong Obesity show increased with the formation of an umbilical hernia. An umbilical hernia can also develop in children who often have respiratory infections. The reason for this is the increase in pressure in the abdomen during coughing. Another cause of the umbilical hernia in the baby is the presence of one chronic constipation (chronic Constipation).


In most cases, an umbilical hernia in a newborn or baby does not require any medical intervention. In most cases, the umbilical hernia in babies regresses easily and completely within the first few years of life without damaging the organ sections in the hernial sac.

However, if the affected baby complains of symptoms or even has pain in the area of ​​the navel, it makes sense to initiate therapy promptly. Possible therapy options for an umbilical hernia in babies are both non-surgical and surgical measures.

Above all, however, the examination in the presence of a painful umbilical hernia is paramount. In these cases, it is urgent to clarify whether the hernial sac is trapped. In most cases of the baby's umbilical hernia, the treating pediatrician will first try to push the hernial sac back into the abdomen under slight pressure. This method is particularly gentle and can be carried out quickly and easily. However, the success rate of the so-called reduction of the umbilical hernia is not very high.

In addition, the umbilical hernia in babies can be treated with bandages. In most cases, the hernial sac pushes itself back through the weak point in the abdominal wall quite quickly.

The next possible therapy option is surgical correction of the umbilical hernia. However, this method is only used in the rarest of cases and under special circumstances in babies. The reason for this is the fact that the surgical relocation of the umbilical hernia must be carried out under general anesthesia and this is a particular danger for a baby.

In the actual umbilical hernia operation, a distinction can be made between a so-called open and a closed procedure. In most cases, the attending surgeon uses the much more gentle closed procedure (endoscopic surgery of the umbilical hernia).
The open procedure, in which a vertical or horizontal incision is made along the navel, is only used if a closed operation does not bring the desired result.
The aim of the surgical correction of the umbilical hernia in babies is the complete relocation of the organs back into the abdominal cavity. In addition, the weak point in the abdominal wall must be stabilized in such a way that a new umbilical hernia can be prevented.

Read more on the topic: Umbilical hernia surgery


The umbilical hernia in babies is absolute in most cases harmless and does not involve any risks. Only if it is the so-called Incarceration (Entrapment) of the hernial sac, something should be done quickly. If the appropriate treatment is neglected, there is a risk of the supplying vessels being clamped and thus that Die the one in the hernial sac Organ sections.


The forecast of the Umbilical hernia the baby is also without medical intervention very Well. As a rule, the protuberance regresses completely by the age of three.