Headaches? Your Doctor Can Help You More Than You Think

Why Did Your Bellybutton Suddenly Start Sticking Out?

Did your innie bellybutton suddenly become an outtie? This can be pretty shocking, and when it happens, it usually happens instantaneously. While you should not rush to the emergency room or panic, you should be aware that the change in your bellybutton is likely the result of a common medical condition called an umbilical hernia.

What's an umbilical hernia?

An umbilical hernia appears when a small piece of your intestines pokes through the abdominal muscles that surround your naval. Although this problem occurs most often in infants, they can occur later in life. Lifting a heavy object or straining to defecate may cause an umbilical hernia to appear. Yes, some people can make their innies into outties just by lifting a heavy box!

What should you do about your umbilical hernia?

When umbilical hernias appear in infants, they often heal themselves within a few months. However, they don't typically disappear in adults without treatment. If you think you have an umbilical hernia, you should see your physician. There is usually no rush to repair an umbilical hernia unless it is very large. However, your doctor will generally advise that you have your hernia repaired within a year or two, since the longer you wait, the harder it will be for the surgeon to fix it.

Will your outtie become an innie again?

If you had an innie before, you will probably have an innie again after you have hernia surgery. Keep in mind that your bellybutton may not look exactly like it did before you developed your hernia, since there may be scar tissue at the site that changes the shape of your bellybutton slightly.

Are there risks to worry about with an umbilical hernia and the associated surgery?

Usually, patients don't experience any negative symptoms or even pain with an umbilical hernia. In rare cases, the area may feel sore. There are also times when the blood supply to the portion of the intestines that is protruding through the abdominal muscles is decreased, leading to tissue damage. This is why it's important to see a doctor if you have an umbilical hernia. He or she can ensure you're not suffering from this problem. As far as hernia surgery goes, it's a fairly simple and common procedure. Though all surgery carries risks, such as infection and negative reactions to anesthesia, you have no reason to be overly concerned.

Waking up to an outtie when you used to have an innie can be pretty strange. Luckily, the explanation is simple and pretty harmless. Seek treatment from your doctor, and you'll be back to normal in no time.