What is Umbilical Endometriosis?
Umbilical endometriosis is a rare type of endometriosis. It is also known as Villar’s node. This condition occurs when the endometrial tissue that is known to grow in the uterus starts growing in or around the belly button. This can lead to symptoms such as pain, swelling, and discoloration.
Endometriosis is the term used for a condition in which the endometrial tissue grows where it is not supposed to. It is found most commonly growing in the pelvic region and affecting nearby organs such as the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.
It is observed that only 1 percent of endometriosis involves parts outside the pelvic region.(1)
Umbilical endometriosis is a benign condition, still, its symptoms can be confused with other conditions affecting the navel. It is therefore important to speak to the doctor if there is any symptom.
Causes of Umbilical Endometriosis
Umbilical endometriosis is of two types:
- Primary umbilical endometriosis
- Secondary umbilical endometriosis
Primary endometriosis comes suddenly and the reasons for it is not known. However, it is believed by the researchers that it occurs when pelvic endometriosis spreads.(2) It is suggested that only one-quarter of umbilical endometriosis occurs along with pelvic endometriosis.
Secondary endometriosis develops after a surgical procedure including minimally invasive surgeries like laparoscopy and open surgeries like cesarean deliveries. It occurs as the endometrial cells may be transplanted into surgical scars.
Signs and Symptoms of Umbilical Endometriosis
Excess endometrial growth occurs in parts other than the uterus but behaves the same way as it does in the uterus. With the changes in hormone it thickens, sheds, and bleeds. But, this excess blood instead of moving out of the body gets trapped. This causes pain and swelling.
The symptoms of umbilical endometriosis include:
- Irregular bleeding
- Painful periods
- Digestive issues
- Painful intercourse
- Pain during bowel movements and urination
How is Umbilical Endometriosis Diagnosed?
Umbilical endometriosis looks like a mass or a nodule in the navel. Umbilical endometriosis is not dangerous but other masses can be. It is therefore important to consult a doctor for any type of mass or lump in the body.
A physical examination is done by the doctor and medical history is taken. A biopsy is done that involves removing tissue from the lump for analysis.
How is Umbilical Endometriosis Treated?
Surgery is the main treatment done that can reduce the possibility of recurrence of the condition.(3)
Some doctors recommend hormonal therapies to reduce the size of the umbilical nodule and also a few symptoms before surgery. The medications that can improve endometriosis include progesterone, danazol, and gonadotropin-releasing hormone.
Umbilical endometriosis is a rare condition that leads to swelling, bleeding, pain and discharge near the belly button. If anyone is developing any unusual symptoms near the belly, it is important to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis.