Umbilical hernias in adults can be treated by surgery, according to Healthline. This is necessary if it becomes painful, bigger than 1/2 inch in diameter or if it blocks the intestine.
Health conditions that put pressure on the stomach muscles cause umbilical hernias in adults, such as being overweight, pregnancy or having too much fluid in the belly, reports WebMD. Other conditions that lead to this include chronic cough and chronic constipation. Without treatment, a part of the intestine can get trapped as the hernia gets bigger over time. This cuts off the blood supply to the tissue and requires emergency surgery.