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Definition An umbilical hernia is an outward bulging (protrusion) of the abdominal lining or part of the abdominal organ(s) through the area around the belly button. Causes, incidence, and risk factors An umbilical hernia in an infant occurs when the muscle through which blood vessels pass to feed the developing fetus doesn't close completely. Umbilical hernias are common in infants. They occur slightly more often in African Americans. Most umbilical hernias are not related to disease. However, umbilical hernias can be associated with rare conditions such as mucopolysaccharide storage diseases , Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome , and Down syndrome.
References Warner BW. Pediatric surgery. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery . 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 71.
I suffer from reflux, underwent an upper GI series, and have been told that I have a paraesophageal hiatal hernia. I have an appointment with a gastroenterologist, but my internist said that I might need surgery. My symptoms aren't that bad. Should I be concerned?
Hiatal hernias are defects in the diaphragm that allow the stomach to slide up into the chest. While they can cause heartburn, generally this is controlled with medications and surgery is not needed. The stomach moves up through the diaphragm right underneath the esophagus. That type of hernia is called a sliding hiatal hernia. The much rarer type, paraesophageal hernia, occurs when the stomach goes through the diaphragm next to the esophagus. Paraesophageal hernias generally tend to enlarge with time, and sometimes the entire stomach is found within the chest. Most patients with a paraesophageal hernia remain asymptomatic. In this type of hernia, symptoms from acid reflux usually do not occur. Instead, the most commo...
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