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What is supraumbilical hernia?

Q: My 17 months old son is suffering from supra-umbilical hernia which has been present since birth. The paediatrician said that it is quite common and will go away in a year's time but it is still there. A paediatric surgeon put his finger around the hernia and diagnosed it as supra- umbilical hernia and advised that it needs to be operated. What is supraumbilical hernia? Is operation the only answer? What age is safe for operation and what can happen if it is not operated?

A:Supra-umbilical hernias are less common than umbilical hernias. They occur as a result of a defect just above the umbilical ring. Though a majority of umbilical hernias close spontaneously by about 3 years of age, some of them may not and require surgical closure. Supra-umbilical hernias, on the other hand, do not close spontaneously and need surgery. In any case, there is no urgency and you may still wait for a few more months, unless the hernia is increasing in size.

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