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"Belly button squishing - could this be serious?"

ZocdocAnswersBelly button squishing - could this be serious?


I'm 51 and overweight. Recently, my belly button filled in somewhat and I can squish it back with a little pressure from my finger. I can feel it squish back and then it returns soon after. I'm assuming it's just fat and would go away with weight loss but I'd like to know if it might be anything more serious. It's a weird feeling to move things around like that. No pain or discoloration. Thanks.


Thank you for your question. It is possible that your symptoms are describing an umbilical hernia, so it is important that you visit your doctor for an evaluation. Umbilical hernias are common in babies. They are caused by incomplete closing of the abdominal wall muscles. Adults can also develop umbilical hernias due to increased abdominal pressure because of factors such as obesity, multiple pregnancies in women, or lifting weights. Umbilical hernias can present as a bulge of tissue which protrudes from the body through the weakened area of the abdominal wall. This is the "squishy" sac of tissue that you can feel and can be pushed back inside. Umbilical hernias in babies resolve on their own in most cases. Adults, however, usually require surgical intervention. This is to avoid the most dangerous complication of an umbilical hernia, which is known as incarceration. This is when a piece of intestine or fat becomes trapped in the weakened part of the abdominal wall and then dies because it lacks a blood supply. Surgery involves pushing the protruding bulge of tissue back and tightly securing the inner lining of the abdominal cavity (fascia). Mesh may also be used to strengthen that area of the abdominal wall. Please visit your doctor who can perform a physical examination and properly diagnose the cause of your particular symptoms.

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