In babies, umbilical hernias may heal themselves within four years, making surgery unnecessary. For all others, the standard treatment is conventional hernia-repair surgery (called herniorrhaphy).
It is possible to simply live with a hernia and monitor it. The main risk of this approach is that the protruding organ may become strangulated (have its blood supply cut off), and infection and tissue death may occur as a result. A strangulated intestinal hernia may result in intestinal obstruction, causing the abdomen to swell. The strangulation can also lead to infection, gangrene, intestinal perforation, shock, or even death.
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