Umbilical hernias are a very common hernia type. They are protrusions of contents of the abdominal cavity, through a weakness at the umbilicus (belly button).
Umbilical hernias are formed as a consequence of a natural weakness in the layers of the abdominal wall in the belly button region, as a result of the umbilical cord traveling through the navel during our development as a foetus.
Umbilical hernias can cause pain and discomfort. If they become strangulated, bits of bowel can become trapped and even perforated if urgent surgery is not performed. This is extremely rare for umbilical hernias, however. If asymptomatic, they can usually therefore be left alone.
Normally, simple history and examination is all that’s required to diagnose umbilical hernias. Some patients may require an Ultrasound or CT scan if no hernia is found on examination of the area.