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April 21, 2008 10:42 AM   Subscribe

What does the navel look like from the inside?
posted by uandt to Grab Bag (3 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Prenatally the umbilicus is home to a number of blood vessels which shrivel up after birth to form fibrous strands such as the ligamentum teres. The vessels are further described here and here.
posted by TedW at 11:15 AM on April 21, 2008

Thanks Ted. Your answer led me on to this (warning for dead human flesh) picture of the anterior abdominal wall (I think that is what it is).

So lines (or umbilical folds) 4-8 are the remnants of umbilical blood vessels then and the navel is the flat area in the middle where they meet up. I wished for something more spectacular but I guess I'm satisfied for now.

I was hoping that the navel would be sort of poking out of the inside of your belly but that sadly doesn't seem to be the case here...
posted by uandt at 5:23 AM on April 22, 2008

If you want something interesting about the navel, you may want to know that it occasionally fails to completely close, leading to an umbilical hernia. In more extreme cases there is a gaping hole where the navel should be with abdominal contents protruding; this is known as an omphalocele, pictured here (image not horrible, but probably not for the squeamish).
posted by TedW at 3:36 AM on April 23, 2008

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