Umbilical hernia

Dr Jeremy Jones and Dr Henry Knipe et al.

Umbilical hernias are the most common ventral hernia and occur in the midline.

Ten times more common in females 2 and represent ~5% of all abdominal hernias 4.

Umbilical hernias present in the midline as painless or painful mass. 

Umbilical hernias may be congenital or acquired 1,2:

  • congenital: physiological herniation through the umbilicus occurs during the 10th week of gestation and congenital umbilical hernias occur when there is incomplete closure of the anterior abdominal wall after the gut returns to the abdominal cavity
  • acquired: more common in adults
    • risk factors: obesity, multiparity, ascites, large intra-abdominal mass

Umbilical hernias commonly contain fat, mesentery or small and/or large bowel. 

There is a high rate of strangulation and incarceration of bowel and Richter hernias are common. Bowel obstruction is common and can be also be complicated by bowel ischaemia

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Article information

rID: 32106
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Umbilical herniation
  • Umbilical hernias

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Cases and figures

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    Case 3: with strangulation
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