What Can a Protruding Belly Button Mean?

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A protruding belly button most likely indicates a condition called an umbilical hernia, wherein the belly button pops outward because of a weakness in the muscles in or around the belly button, explains the International Health Insurance Bupa. Umbilical hernias happen to people of all ages, typically occurring in overweight people and in women during and after pregnancy.

An umbilical hernia happens when fat, fluid or intestine pushes through a weak spot in the belly, says WebMD. Umbilical hernias in infants often close on their own by the time a baby turns one year old. In adults, an umbilical hernia happens in people with certain conditions or health problems that cause pressure in the belly, such as pregnancy, obesity and having too much fluid in the belly.

The IHI Bupa notes that although an umbilical hernia is not dangerous in itself, it poses a risk of getting trapped, a condition which cuts off the blood supply to the hernia’s contents. This causes life-threatening conditions, especially when the hernia becomes strangulated. It requires treatment to prevent the hernia from getting bigger and more uncomfortable. A hernia repair operation pushes the contents of the bulge back into the abdomen and strengthens the abdominal wall. An open surgery repair operation involves making a small cut bellow the belly button. For recurrent hernia, a keyhole surgery is usually recommended.