A hernia is a bulge caused by tissue pushing through the wall of muscle that’s holding it in. It sometimes feels like a soft lump that may go away when you press on it or lay down. The area can be painful, especially when coughing, bending over or lifting something.
Ventral or abdominal hernias can occur at any location along the abdominal wall. Many occur at the location of a previous surgery (incisional hernia) and can develop months or even years after a procedure is performed. Incisional hernias often occur along a vertical incision point. An umbilical hernia occurs in babies under six months old and happens near the belly button as a result of intestine, fat or fluid pushing through a weak spot in the belly.
Umbilical hernias often go away on their own before age one but may require surgery if still present past this age. Other hernias require surgery to correct.