Is My “Outie” Belly Button a Hernia?

Is My “Outie” Belly Button a Hernia?

As a child, you may have heard people talk about belly buttons as “innies” or “outies.” In medical terms, although they are normal and harmless in most cases, an “outie” may actuality an umbilical hernia. Although most umbilical hernias occur in babies, they also are know to occur in adults.

What is an Umbilical Hernia?

An umbilical hernia occurs when intestine, fat, or fluid pushes through a weak spot of the umbilical opening in abdominal muscles of the belly, causing a soft swelling or bulge near the belly button, or navel (umbilicus).

What are the Symptoms of Umbilical Hernias in Adults?

If you suspect that you have an umbilical hernia, talk with your doctor. Seek a hernia specialist if you have an umbilical hernia and:

  • You are experiencing pain in your belly button.
  • The size of the bulge increases.
  • The bulge becomes tender, swollen or discolored.
  • You feel the urge to vomit.

What are the Causes of Umbilical Hernias?

In adults, possible causes include:

  • Obesity
  • Multiple pregnancies
  • Fluid in the abdominal cavity (ascites)
  • Previous abdominal surgery
  • Chronic peritoneal dialysis

What Treatments are Available?

For adults, surgery is typically recommended to avoid possible future complications, especially if the umbilical hernia gets bigger or becomes painful.

During surgery, a small incision is made at the base of the bellybutton. The herniated tissue is returned to its proper location in the abdominal cavity, and the opening in the abdominal wall is stitched closed. In most cases, instead of sewing the opening closed, an underlay mesh is used to remove tension from the abdominal wall during closure. The abdominal wall then has a chance to heal well in a tension-free environment, which is the key to a successful outcome.

If you have been experiencing the symptoms of an umbilical hernia, contact Avalon Hernia today. We are committed to maintaining the highest standards of surgical excellence. Our center in Pasadena, CA. offers patient-centered, compassionate emergency care and surgery within a supportive setting. Call 911 for emergency care or call us at (626) 310-0772 to schedule a hernia consultation.


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