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  • Writer's pictureMr Brian MacCormack

Lump at the belly button?

Updated: Jun 23, 2022

Does your child have a lump at their belly button that comes and goes? Then you’re in the right place! In this post I’m going to teach what this means for your child and how someone like me can fix this for them.

If your child has a lump at their belly button that comes and goes they most likely have an umbilical hernia. This is where the stuff inside the tummy cavity pushes out into the belly button through a small weakness in the tummy wall.

Thankfully most of these hernias will get better without surgery by the time a child reaches age 3. If your child’s belly button hernia is still visible at this age then they usually need someone like me to fix it for them as it is unlikely that it will go away by itself.

Although belly button hernias very rarely get stuck out (less than 3 in 1000) in childhood complications are more likely in adulthood.

I repair belly button hernias through a small opening within the natural skin crease just below the belly button. The procedure is performed under general anaesthetic and usually takes me around 30 minutes to complete.

All of the stitches are dissolving and under the skin and I also use special skin glue to protect the wound afterwards. I also place a small pressure dressing over the area to reduce the risk of fluid collecting under the skin.

There are of course small risks such as bleeding and infection that can happen in any operation and are often easy to sort out. If the intestines beneath the defect were injured during the procedure you would identify this in the first few days following the procedure – so if your child looked unwell, with temperatures, abdominal pain or vomiting you should bring them immediately to the accident and emergency department. Thankfully this is extremely rare.

Following your child’s procedure, they should be able to go home the same day and be back to their normal activities within a number of days. The pressure dressing can be removed at home or with the community nurse 48 hours after the procedure.

Once the scar is healed I would recommend rubbing in bio-oil on a daily basis and avoiding sunburn as this can really help improve the appearance of scar in the long term.

So, if your child has a lump at their belly button – why not get in touch:

Until next time, take care of yourself and your family. Best wishes.

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