Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
If you or your child has signs or symptoms common to an umbilical hernia, make an appointment with your family doctor or your child's pediatrician.
Here's some information to help you prepare for your appointment and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- List any signs or symptoms you or your child has had, and for how long.
- Bring in a photo of the hernia if signs of the problem aren't always evident.
- Write down key medical information, including any other health problems and the names of any medications you or your child are taking.
- Write down questions you want to be sure to ask your doctor.
Questions to ask your doctor
If any additional questions occur to you during your visit, don't hesitate to ask.
- Do I or my child have an umbilical hernia?
- How large is the defect?
- Are any diagnostic tests needed?
- What treatment approach do you recommend, if any?
- Is surgery an option in this case?
- Might surgery become an option if the hernia doesn't get better?
- How often should I or my child be seen for follow-up exams?
- Is there any risk of complications from this hernia?
- What emergency signs and symptoms should I watch for at home?
- How soon do you expect signs and symptoms to improve?
- Do I or my child need to follow any activity restrictions?
- Should a specialist be consulted?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:
- What signs and symptoms have you noticed?
- When did you first notice these signs and symptoms?
- Have these signs and symptoms gotten worse over time?
- Are you or your baby in pain?
- Have you or your baby vomited?
- If you are the one affected, do your hobbies or your work involve heavy lifting or straining, or have you recently gained a significant amount of weight?
- Have you or your child recently been treated for any other medical conditions?
- Hernias of the abdominal wall. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal_disorders/acute_abdomen_and_surgical_gastroenterology/hernias_of_the_abdominal_wall.html#v890814. Accessed March 23, 2012.
- Brandt ML. Pediatric hernias. Surgical Clinics of North America. 2008;88:27.
- Brooks DC. Overview of abdominal wall hernias. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed March 23, 2012.
- Palazzi DL, et al. Care of the umbilicus and management of umbilical disorders. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed March 23, 2012.
- Salameh JR. Primary and unusual abdominal wall hernias. Surgical Clinics of North America. 2008;88:45.
- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 24, 2012.