About this disease

What it is about

The navel is a place on the abdominal wall which, due to the anatomical situation, is to be considered a weak point. In people with weak connective tissue or when there is a permanent increase in pressure in the abdominal cavity (e.g. pregnancy, body builders, physical work), the connective tissue in the navel area gives way and a bulge becomes visible. For the assessment of an umbilical hernia, the size of the abdominal wall gap is important on the one hand, because the larger the gap, the greater the risk of intestine slipping into it, and the presence or absence of symptoms on the other.

Symptoms and consequences

Symptoms of an umbilical hernia may be absent altogether or may be noticed with varying intensity. Swelling with or without pain is the most common symptom of an umbilical hernia. Very severe pain that can hardly be tolerated may be a warning sign of a so-called incarceration of the umbilical hernia. In such a case, immediate presentation to the hospital emergency department is recommended.

What we do for you

Examination and diagnosis

The diagnosis is usually made by physical examination. In most cases, the size of the abdominal wall weakness can be determined by palpation. If the findings are unclear or if additional findings are suspected in the abdominal wall, a computer tomography of the abdominal wall is recommended. This gives us a good overview of the abdominal wall situation and allows us to carry out targeted therapy.


In case of discomfort or from a certain size (about one to two centimeters), we recommend surgery based on international guidelines. The aim is to close the gap so that the abdominal wall can withstand high loads without "tearing" again. Up to a size of two centimeters, suturing the gap with certain sutures is often sufficient. If the umbilical hernia is larger, a plastic mesh is usually applied to stabilize the abdominal wall.

Responsible departments

Visceral Surgery


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