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An umbilical granuloma is a condition that can develop on a newborn baby’s umbilical stump. Umbilical granulomas can be easily treated in the doctor’s office most of the time. Umbilical granulomas develop in about 1 out of 500 births.
 Normal umbilical stump
A baby’s umbilical cord supplies vital nutrients and oxygen while in the womb. The umbilical cord fulfills its function after the baby is born and is no longer needed. Upon delivery the cord is cut, leaving a stump that is clamped. The stump will eventually dry up and fall off, leaving a belly button in its place.
Granuloma is a general term for small growth that typically forms at a site that is inflamed. An umbilical granuloma is when the baby’s cord dries up and falls off and a stalk of tissue still remains. It looks like a pink to light reddish piece of tissue. The granuloma will not grow normal skin tissue on top of it, and will ooze mucous until it is treated.
The cause of umbilical granuloma is related to how well the tissue is healing during the drying up process, but the exact cause is unknown.
The first line of treatment is usually the chemical silver nitrate. Your child’s doctor will take a stick of the chemical and carefully apply it to the granuloma to dry it up. This process may take several treatments before the granuloma is finally gone. If the granuloma is not gone after treatment with the silver nitrate, surgery can be done to remove the growth.
Rarely, what looks to be an umbilical granuloma is actually tissue from the bladder or bowel. This condition will require surgery.
 When to call the doctor
Call your child’s doctor if your child’s abdomen becomes red or if you have other concerns.