Protruding belly button

Dear Ask The Doctor:  I am a 52 year old male and about 6 months ago I noticed the top portion of my belly button was proturding. What caused this and is it something to be concerned about. There is no pain associated with the situation, however it is noticable when wearing shirts.
 

Dear Patient:  Your protuding belly button could be a sign of umbilical hernia. This is caused when the abdominal lining or a part of the abdominal organ protrudes through the area around the belly button. This is commonly seen if the patient is obese. Usually, no treatment is needed unless the hernia starts to become bigger or if there is a chance that the bowel may protrude and the blood supply to that portion be cut off, in which case surgical correction is the best option.

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