Lump Above, Near and Under Belly Button: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

A lump near the navel area can develop on the skin or originate from inside the abdomen. Depending on its cause, the lump can be painful, hard, painless, or soft.

Hernias and skin infections are the common causes of lumps near or on the belly button. These types of lumps are easily identifiable even without medical diagnosis. Other causes such as gastric inflammation require imaging tests which can only be performed by a doctor. For such reasons, you are always advised to check with your doctor.

Large lump above belly button; umbilical hernia

A large lump above the belly button is most likely an umbilical hernia. It is very common in infants. This is because it occurs when an opening in the abdominal muscles through which the umbilical cord passes fail to close completely. As a result, abdominal masses push through the opening. Umbilical hernias are not painful.

Causes and risk factors

More cases of umbilical hernias are reported in prematurely-born infants. In adults, obesity and multiple pregnancies are common risk factors. Activities such as lifting heavy objects and strenuous bending may also weaken abdominal muscles around the bellybutton.


Umbilical hernias rarely cause any signs or symptoms apart from appearance of a large lump around the bellybutton. In children, the lump will be more noticeable when the baby is crying or coughing. In adults, the bulge will enlarge when laughing, lifting heavy objects or coughing. Adults are also likely to experience some level of gastric discomfort due to displacement of some abdominal tissues or organs.

Diagnosis and treatment

Your doctor will most likely identify a lump above belly button caused by an umbilical hernia after a physical exam. Additional tests may be performed to rule out other causes such as abdominal tumors.

Treatment is almost always done through surgery. Surgery aims to push back the lump and also strengthen the weak abdominal muscles. Stitches are often used in children to close the opening, while a special mesh is used in adults to strengthen abdominal muscles.

When to see a doctor

In children, umbilical hernias often disappear by the fifth birthday without having caused any complications. See your doctor if that period elapses without the hernia disappearing. Also, get medical help if your child begins to vomit, feels pain or has swelling around the bellybutton.

Umbilical hernias do not disappear without treatment in adults. In fact, they will almost always get worse without treatment. If the bulge is not causing you any problems, you can leave it untreated. See your doctor if complications such as vomiting, pain or nausea are to arise. These are signs of gastric obstruction.

Lump near belly button causes

Other than an umbilical hernia, other lump near bellybutton causes include;

Incisional hernia 

Incisional surgery is very common in the abdomen. During the healing process, abdominal muscles may fail to close completely or may become weakened. As a result, an abdominal mass will push through the weakened spot to create a bulge. Depending on where the surgery was performed, a lump can appear above, below or around bellybutton. Incisional hernia does not resolve on its own. It requires corrective surgery.

Inguinal hernia

Before you wonder how many types of abdominal hernias are there, this is the last type we are about to discuss. Basically, hernias develop when an organ pushes through a weak spot develops on the tissue that supports it. Hernias are more common in the lower abdomen. An inguinal hernia is a form of developmental disorder. More cases are reported in men than women.

This is because a weak spot may be left behind after the testicles have descended. It usually forms a lump under the bellybutton on the groin area near the thigh. Hernias have the habit of disappearing when you are lying down and exert a lot of pressure in your lower abdomen as they become larger. Only surgery can correct this disorder.


One function of body fat is to act as a shock absorber. Since the lower quadrant of the abdomen hosts quite a number of vital organs, it is lined with a thick fatty tissue. Sometimes, benign growths originate in this fatty tissue to form a lump that can be felt under the skin. This is known as a lipoma. Lipomas are very common and luckily harmless. They usually feel soft, rubbery and movable to the touch. You can have multiple lipomas around the same area or throughout your body. Small ones are the size of a rice grain while large ones can reach 2.5 cm in diameter. These lumps are often left without treatment. If bothersome, they can be removed through surgery, liposuction or injection with anti-inflammatory medications.


Hematomas are lumps that form under the skin when blood clots outside blood vessels. They are common after injuries. Normally, a hematoma will resolve without treatment. A large or painful lump may indicate a serious damage which requires medical treatment. At home, you can try warm compresses on the hematoma. The treatment encourages blood flow and re-absorption of the clotted blood. See your doctor if the lump continues to grow in size or causes a lot of pain.

Diseases and health conditions

A lump near the bellybutton can be caused by a health condition or a disease that has originated in the internal abdominal organs. For example, a swollen appendix can be felt as a lump in the lower right side of the abdomen. Inflammations of the kidneys may cause lumps on either side of lower abdomen. In most cases, these lumps will be accompanied by symptoms such as pain, gastrointestinal disorders and swelling. Signs such as small white lump under tongue may also appear in the mouth. See your doctor for a medical diagnosis.


A tumor can be malignant, in which case it is dangerous, or can be benign, in which case it is fairly harmless.  The problem is that you can’t be certain that a lump near the bellybutton is not dangerous. The best approach is to have your doctor examine it. Get medical help if a lump persists for 2 weeks or gradually grows in size and mass, or prompts formation of other masses such as a white lump on the tonsil.

Lymph nodes

A pea-sized, small lump under the skin that is always there is a lymph node. They are located throughout the body and are very important. If you have an infection or have contracted a disease, one or more lymph nodes may swell.

Boils and abscesses

A painful lump under the belly button near your hairline can be a boil. Boils are forms of bacterial infections that originate in the hair follicles. If caused by a boil, the lump will appear under the skin but have a white tip above the skin. Large boils form abscesses. These occur on the skin, especially after deep cuts and open wounds. It is common for example to have an abscess lump on your wrist.

Symptoms of lump above and near bellybutton

Hernias are usually painless and without other symptoms apart from lumps. Depending on which type of organ or tissue is pushing through, the hernia can be hard or soft. The most definite symptom is the tendency to disappear when lying or at rest and enlarge when straining.

Tumors are characterized by tendency to grow in size, either slowly or rapidly. When dealing with tumors, it is best that your doctor be the one to have the final say. A soft painful lump on roof of mouth can, for example, be a harmless canker sore or an initial stage oral cancer.

Infections and diseases are rarely without other symptoms. In most cases, swelling and pain will be involved. STDs tend to cause multiple lesions rather than solitary lumps. If a hard lump near anus, for example, appears in the same period as one near the bellybutton, there are chances it could be a sign of an STD. Get medical help for such causes.

When to see a doctor for a lump near the bellybutton

Many treatment options are available for whatever the cause of a lump near your bellybutton maybe. All that is required of you is to seek medical help. If a lump has been there for more than 2 weeks, is accompanied by signs of infection or malignancy and is causing any form of discomfort, have your doctor check it out.

All the same, self-diagnosis is usually of some help. Much online information and diagnostic tools such as a lump in the palm of the hand below the middle finger pictures or details on lumps on the body causes are available. You can take advantage of them at home when preparing for your appointment.