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Have umbilical hernia, grown large and changing color from red, blue and purple to pink and yellow. Gangrene?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 5166 Questions
I have an umbilical hernia. It has grown rather large over the past 12 years. Three days ago I went to see a surgeon because the hernia area was (red and irritated.) The surgeon said the hernia is soft and mostly but not all able to be pushed back in. He said he thought there was some omentum in there that was stuck. He felt like there wasn't any intestines in there or any strangulation. He said i wasn't in an emergency situation but we scheduled a surgery date for this next week before i leave for vacation.
After messing with and squeezing the hernia area quite painfully the area slowly became blue and purple and pink with yellowing skin all around the hernia over the next three days. It seems to be getting worse the purpling is running down past the hernia like squiggly blood vessels and the yellowing all around is concerning. I have a week long beach vacation that I can't change at the end of the week. I'm in no pain, no fever no nausea. I feel almost better than when I went to the surgeon in that the area doesn't seem irritated. Can I wait to deal with this till I get back?. Or is this gangrene setting in? Why did this go from red and irritated to purple and yellow etc after messing with it.
Posted Fri, 20 Sep 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Stop further manipulation, Enjoy your vacation.

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thanks for this query.

I am so sorry to hear about this umbilical hernia, its evolution and the current skin changes.

Fro the information you have provided and the image, this very much looks like an incarcerated hernia. The chances of any strangulation are zero and these skin changes are consistent with repeated manipulation. What actually happens is that repeated manipulation injures capillaries, allow small bleeds into tissues which account for these skin changes. They all by themselves represent no danger and would spontaneously regain its original coloration after the resorption process of the bleeds is over.

For now, stop any further manipulation and enjoy your beach vacation. However, as with all hernias be prepare to seek immediate medical attention if pains, fevers or inability to pass stool should set in as they signal complications.

I wish you a lovely vacation and a safe procedures for the hernia upon return. Thank you so much for this opportunity to address your query today. If you have any related follow up questions, please let me know and I Would gladly address them.

Dr. Ditah, MD
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