Symptoms of a belly button hernia, or umbilical hernia, are a bulge or swelling in or around the navel, and pain, according to Healthline. The bulge is more-noticeable when the patient is laughing, coughing or executing other straining activities. Symptoms that require medical attention are pain, vomiting, discoloration, tenderness and continued swelling.
Umbilical hernias are more-common in infants and likely to heal by the infant's first birthday, states WebMD. However, sometimes medical treatment is necessary. Untreated umbilical hernias in adults can lead to further complications, including a strangulated hernia. A strangulated hernia occurs when tissue is cut off from the blood supply. The condition can cause blood infection, severe bleeding and gangrene.
Umbilical hernias are treated through surgery, according to Healthline. Surgery is recommended when infant umbilical hernias last through toddler years, or are accompanied with pain. Surgery is also recommended if the hernia bulge has a diameter of more than half an inch, if the hernia blocks the intestines, or if the hernia does not shrink after one year in adults. During surgery, the doctor makes an incision at the location of the bulge and pushes the intestine back into the stomach wall. The stomach wall is then reinforced with mesh in adults.