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Umbilical Hernias

umbilical hernia

My newborn son has a hernia in his belly button. Our Ped said it should go away on its own. Do you agree?

Yes. It is very common for infants to have an umbilical hernia. Most close in the first few months of life. They can close on there own in children up to 5 years old.

There are many “home remedies” for umbilical hernias - like taping a silver dollar over the area. A family I know had purchased a special umbilical hernia band-aids that covered the area. There is no evidence that these remedies help.

When I was in medical school, I had the honor of working with Dr. Frank DeBusk. During his teaching clinics, he followed a group of children with umbilical hernias to learn more about their closure. He was unable to determine any pattern of or identify factors that led to spontaneous closure.

In general, umbilical hernias are safe and should not worry parents. While other hernias can lead to surgical emergencies, it is extremely rare for an umbilical hernia to cause any problems.

If an umbilical hernia has not resolved by 5 years old, a pediatric surgeon can surgically close them. I know of only a few families that selected this treatment option.




Updated August 2010 by
Dr. Gordon, Windermere Pediatrician






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