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Infant BB hernia issue after 9 years

My son had a slight herniated belly button when he was born. It healed quickly on its own but it as it healed, it closed up around skin or tissue that was suppose to be inside, leaving him with a ball inside his belly button that seemed to be filled with tissue or liquid. It's not huge but it is noticeable if you see him from straight on. He is now 9 and has always had sensitivity there but really no problems besides that. But tonight he was washing and he accidentally pulled on it and top of the ball ripped off. Instead of it bleeding or liquid leaking out, it was dry and full yellowish crust inside. You can even see some open empty spaces in there. There is moister deeper into it. I'd like to know what this ball is and what is in it. His doctors never could telling exactly what it was and assumed it happened during healing process I'm now afraid it could get infected. Should I get him to a doctor to have it looked at?
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replied June 27th, 2013
Especially eHealthy
JFastnacht,

There are a few things that it might be.


It could be some granulation tissue that had gone into an inactive stage. Granulation tissue is sometimes called “proud flesh” and is seen in healing wounds. It is usually moist, with an appearance like that of ground beef. But, if it goes on into an inactive stage, it can look like scar tissue.

It could be some proliferation of the “horny” layer of the skin (stratum corneum). Sort of like a callus formation. Especially since the wound is “dry” and yellow.

It might be an epidermal inclusion cyst. This is a benign “tumor”.

There are probably several other things which it could be. The only way to know for sure, would be to look at the lesion under a microscope. If you have not thrown the little piece of tissue away, it is possible that your son’s pediatrician could have it sent to pathology for a microscopic evaluation. Essentially, it would be a “biopsy”. Again, if you have not disposed of the tissue, you could call the pediatrician and ask about having it sent to the lab. You can probably “preserve” the tissue by putting it in a small amount of rubbing alcohol.


You need to keep the area clean and dry. You should wash the area with soap and water. It is probably better that your son take a shower, rather than a bath, for the time being, until the area is completely healed. While in the shower, he just needs to wash is tummy well with soap and let the water of the shower run off.

After the shower, pat the area dry really well. If you want, you can apply a little bit of hydrogen peroxide with a cotton tipped applicator (“Q-Tip”). Usually, antibiotic ointments are not needed. But, if you want to use some, it is okay. Just be sure to wash it completely off once a day, so that the wound can be thoroughly cleansed. Again, just use good ole soap and water. You do not want to keep “gooping” on the antibiotic ointment, without washing it off, because that can trap bacteria underneath it. Then, you may want to put a “dust cover” over the area. A small dry gauze, called a two-by-two (2x2 inches) can be placed over the wound, just to keep the clothing from rubbing on it.


If the area around the umbilicus (belly button)becomes tender, starts to look red, warm, swells up, or begins to drain/bleed, then your son will need to be seen by his pediatrician or the family doctor. But, as long as you keep the area clean and dry, it should be just fine.

But, if you are concerned about this, in any way, have your son seen for an evaluation.


Good luck. (If you find out what this is exactly, lets us know, if you do not mind. It might help another member sometime.)
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replied June 27th, 2013
Thank you so much for your input! It is so strange to see inside this bubble/ball after wondering what was in it all of these years. He was even seen by a specialist who just looked at it and told me that he didn't know what it was and to come back if it gets bigger or painful without it being touched.
It has dried out more and started to close up a lot just over night. I am still going to take him in to our new family doctor this afternoon, just to be on the safe side. Who knows, I might finally find out what this thing is:)
Thank you again. I will give an update after his appointment.
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replied June 27th, 2013
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JFastnacht,

Yes, it is quite odd. But, the good thing is that it has been around for that long, without really "acting up". So, it is much more likely to be a benign process rather than something "bad".


Keep the "wound" clean and dry. Do let us know if you find anything out.

Wishing you the best. Good luck.
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