Is This a Herniated Belly Button or Just Pregnancy Damage?

Before my two pregnancies I definitely had an "innie" belly button. Now it's half in/half out and tends to pop out whenever I do any kind of core work or abdominal work at the gym. Is this a herniated belly button? If so is this something insurance would cover? I HATE IT!!! This is one year post partum. The white is the bottom of my sports bra...couldn't figure out how to flip the picture.

Doctor Answers 6

Umbilical hernia is common after pregnancy

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The umbilicus or belly button is a well known potential weak spot in the abdomen, and with pregnancy can be prone to develop a hernia. The pressure and stretch in this thin area during pregnancy can cause the belly button to protrude forward as the tissues within the abdomen push through the weakened abdominal wall. For many, the hernia which has opened up during pregnancy will close down and cease to be an issue, though for some the weak area will persist and the belly button can protrude, especially with straining. An umbilical hernia can usually be felt as you lie back and relax the abdomen, much like a small ring in the base of the belly button in the case that it is reducible. If not reducible (the stuffing will not go back in), you may feel a small round lump of fat under the belly button. An umbilical hernia can be tender and cause problems, and most insurance will cover the repair.

Best of luck,


Possible umbilical hernia

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Thank you for your question.  It's a bit difficult to tell without examining you, but it is possible you have a small umbilical hernia - a common consequence of pregnancy.  That said, the remainder of your abdomen looks excellent.  I would recommend a consultation with a qualified, board-certified plastic surgeon to examine you and determine the true nature of your problem.  Umbilical hernias are often easily repaired, but can create problems if left unaddressed.

A physical exam could confirm the hernia.

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It’s not unusual for patients to develop umbilical hernias following pregnancy. Even though your history suggests that an umbilical hernia is present, this is hard to confirm without a physical examination.
If the diagnosis is confirmed, repair can easily be performed through a peri-umbilical incision. When patients are also concerned about the aesthetics of the abdomen, the hernia can be repaired in combination with abdominoplasty surgery.

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Belly button damage after tummy tuck

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A belly button hernia and belly button stalk stretching after pregnancy are essentially the same.  A belly button hernia will have a distinct hole that can be palpated while a belly button that has become flat from pregnancy will have a more general feeling when palpated but they are largely the same and require the same type of surgery.  Insurance may cover either so your insurance company should be contacted to verify.  A small incision around the belly button and repair of the underlying tissue is what will be needed to reverse the changes that you have described as a result of pregnancy.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 170 reviews

Muscle seperation or hernia? See your Dr.

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You should show your gynecologist at your next visit or make an appointment with your doctor to figure out if it is a severe muscle seperation or a hernia.  If it is a muscle seperation, a plastic surgeon can repair it and if it is a hernia, a general surgeon can help you.

Umbi hernia repair is not difficult

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It sounds like you do have a small umbilical hernia, which is very common after pregnancy. While it is possible that you could go to a general surgeon and have insurance cover the repair, from what I have seen they often make a large incision that leaves a visible scar. A plastic surgeon would be more inclined to hide the scar under the hood of the umbi, but many don't accept insurance for it. It cuold probably be done under local anesthesia and shouldn't be very expensive anyway.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.