An umbilical hernia arises in the ring of the umbilicus or around it (para-umbilical hernia) and it usually contains abdominal fat. It is particularly common in women after pregnancy and may become excessively large.
Its acute onset, especially in elderly women, may sometimes indicate a sudden increase in the pressure inside the abdominal cavity caused by intra-abdominal neoplasms. Umbilical hernia, just like any other type of hernia, requires surgical repair. If left untreated, the risk of complications (strangulation of the hernia) is increased, leading to pain, erythema of the skin and eventually ischemia and necrosis of the organ which is blocked inside the hernia.
Laparoscopic approach with the insertion of a mesh to restore the original umbilical anatomy is the preferred approach in large umbilical hernias.