Treatment for belly button hernias, also known as umbilical hernias, involves surgery. Without the operation, the patient risks developing a strangulated hernia, which traps fat or part of the intestine, cuts off the blood flow to the tissue and necessitates an emergency operation, reports WebMD.
Most often, umbilical hernias happen in infants, but the hernias close without treatment by the baby's first birthday. Sometimes surgery is needed. In adults, umbilical hernias most often occur in those who have excess belly pressure. Pregnancy, obesity or excess belly fluid, also known as ascites, can cause the condition. Such problems as chronic constipation, chronic cough and an overly large prostate gland can cause an umbilical hernia over time. It presents as a bulge in the abdomen close to the belly button, as stated by WebMD.
Over time, umbilical hernias tend to grow. If it gets particularly large or develops pain, it may be time for a surgical treatment. Should the bulge develop discoloration, tenderness or unusual swelling, a strangulated hernia may have taken place. In this instance, immediate medical attention is necessary, according to WebMD. This may simply involve a call to the doctor, and might also involve a trip to an urgent-care facility or emergency room.