Saturday, October 24, 2009

Umbilical Cutaneous Endometriosis

Wow what a title! I thought some of you might be interested in my experience with cutaneous endometriosis (endometriosis of the skin). When I first had my hernia there was what appeared to be a small blood spot on my belly button. The family physician I saw made a comment about it but the surgeon didn't seem concerned. It almost looked kind of like thin skin that you could see blood through. I had the hernia surgery and came out with a great looking belly button but it still had that small spot on it. About 9 months after the hernia surgery I noticed the spot was getting bigger and it was now a lump, it was also painful on and off. I went to a different family physician in December 2008, she said the lump was just scar tissue from the surgery and the discoloration was within the normal range for a belly button. She said come back in 6 months if it gets bigger. I came back in June and the discolored, painful lump had now doubled in size. She said she still thought it was just scar tissue "some people develop more scar tissue than others," she told me, but she said she would send me back to the surgeon that did the hernia surgery for a second opinion.
As soon as the surgeon saw it he said it was endometriosis. He said he had never actually seen it in a belly button, but had read that it could happen and had seen it it scars before. He sent me to my gynocologist for a second. opinion. She said she didn't know what it was. She also had not seen endo in a belly button before and I wasn't having cyclical pain, but she agreed it needed to be removed either way, and she wanted me to find a plastic surgeon to do the surgery. I got consults from two plastic surgeons-neither one was sure what was going on with the belly button. One surgeon wanted to spare the belly button by just removing the lump underneath-I would still have a discolored belly button and if it turned out to be endometriosis I would have to have a second surgery, because any endo left in would continue to grow. I decided to go with the second surgeon who wanted to take the entire lump out. I am so happy with my decision! The lump was endometriosis and during the surgery a pocket of fluid was discovered originating from the fascia. My gyno thinks that I had a chocolate cyst burst in my abdomen...more on that later. I now have a small, pain-free belly button-ish depression on my abdomen. It's not nearly as cute as the belly button I was born with, but much better that the endo-button I had!

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