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Swollen Belly Button

Swollen Belly Button: In most cases of a swollen belly button the problem is actually a “belly button hernia” – or more correctly referred to as an “umbilical hernia”. This is kind of hernia of the abdomen occurring in the area of the umbilicus. Whenever this kind of hernia develops, intestines push thru the wall of the abdomen in back of the belly button causing a bulge to advance. Numerous belly button hernias are hereditary and are particularly common in boys of African heritage. This kind of hernia may also develop in adults.

The region of the navel is prone to herniation especially in infants due to the way in which the body grows and because of the umbilicus nature. In certain cases, the wall of the abdominal area in back of navel does not completely close during development of the fetus, which allows for intestines to come thru, creating a hernia. Belly button hernias may be seen only when a baby strains or cries, descending back into the abdomen after the baby relaxes. It is normally identified fairly soon after birth, since newborns tend to strongly object to entering a new world, making their belly button hernias very noticeable.

Unlike other types of hernia, the belly button hernia normally will resolve itself. In babies, the hernia normally disappears by the age of one and certainly by the age of 4 in the majority of cases. If it continues to be existent after that time, it might require surgery for correction. This hernia is also predisposed to difficulties such as strangling, where the supply of blood to the intestines that are herniated is cut off causing death of the tissue. If a baby has a belly button hernia, a physician might recommend monitoring it closely for any signs of early problems.

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