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 Risk factors

 By Mayo Clinic Staf
 Umbilical hernias are most common in infants — especially
premature babies and those with low birth weights. Black infants
appear to have a slightly increased risk of umbilical hernias. The
condition afects boys and girls equally.
 For adults, being overweight or having multiple pregnancies may
increase the risk of developing an umbilical hernia. This type of
hernia tends to be more common in women.

By Mayo Clinic Staf

For children, complications of an umbilical hernia are rare. Complications
can occur when the protruding abdominal tissue becomes trapped
(incarcerated) and can no longer be pushed back into the abdominal cavity.
This reduces the blood supply to the section of trapped intestine and can
lead to umbilical pain and tissue damage. If the trapped portion of intestine
is completely cut of from the blood supply (strangulated hernia), tissue
death (gangrene) may occur. Infection may spread throughout the
abdominal cavity, causing a life-threatening situation.

Adults with umbilical hernia are somewhat more likely to experience
incarceration or obstruction of the intestines. Emergency surgery is typically
required to treat these complications.

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Questions to ask your doctor If any additional questions occur to you during your visit.  Write down key medical information. and for how long.Free E-newsletter Subscribe to Housecall Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics. What you can do  List any signs or symptoms you or your child has had.  Write down questions you want to be sure to ask your doctor. don't hesitate to ask.  Bring in a photo of the hernia if signs of the problem aren't always evident. Here's some information to help you prepare for your appointment and what to expect from your doctor. make an appointment with your family doctor or your child's pediatrician. . including any other health problems and the names of any medications you or your child are taking. Sign up now Preparing for your appointment By Mayo Clinic Staf If you or your child has signs or symptoms common to an umbilical hernia.

if any?  Is surgery an option in this case?  Might surgery become an option if the hernia doesn't get better?  How often should I or my child be seen for follow-up exams?  Is there any risk of complications from this hernia?  What emergency signs and symptoms should I watch for at home?  How soon do you expect signs and symptoms to improve?  Do you recommend any activity restrictions?  Should a specialist be consulted? What to expect from your doctor Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. or have you recently gained a significant amount of weight? . do your hobbies or your work involve heavy lifting or straining. such as:  What signs and symptoms have you noticed?  When did you first notice these signs and symptoms?  Have these signs and symptoms gotten worse over time?  Are you or your baby in pain?  Have you or your baby vomited?  If you are the one afected. Is the swelling near my or my child's bellybutton an umbilical hernia?  How large is the defect?  Are any diagnostic tests needed?  What treatment approach do you recommend.

 Have you or your child recently been treated for any other medical conditions?  Do you or your child have a chronic cough? .