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Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Bleeding and Discharge from Belly Button


 tammyw5456 - Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:31 pm

My husband is a very fit, 44 year old, who over the past couple of months has been having a bleeding, smelly discharge from his belly button. He says it is not painful. He had an appendectomy years ago, and they took it out through his belly button, and he's very active - doing massive amounts of sit ups every day.

He went to our internist about it and was told that it was a tear in his abdominal wall and that was basically his abdominal fluid leaking out. The way he is "treating" it is by having my husband make a paste of sugar and water and put it in his belly button. He said this is an old military trick used to dry out the belly button and cause it to heal. That sounds just plain crazy to me, and it is not working anyway. He's been doing it for a couple of weeks, but his belly button is still leaking. He tells me the doctor said if that didn't work, they'd do surgery to sew it up.

Does this diagnosis and this treatment sound accurate?
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sat Sep 20, 2008 10:42 pm

User avatar Hi there -

Yep, I'm afraid it's true. Most cases of unpleasant umbilical odor are due to a fistula having formed between the GI tract and the belly button, and the doctor is undoubtedly correct. I've heard of the sugar and water trick before, having worked in a military hospital for some time, but since that's not working (and yes, it does sound crazy, but sometimes it actually does work), a simple surgery will likely be necessary and will resolve the problem pretty quickly.

Best of luck to the both of you.

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