Ooo, ooo, I’ve got me one of those!
What are the health concerns?
If you go to a place that use autoclaves and is kept clean, the risks are pretty minimal. Infection is your biggest concern, but taking care of it minimizes that (see below). Just make sure everything is sterile and you’ll be good.
Does it hurt much? What’s the up-keep like?
The piercing itself hurt a lot when it was done. I cried. But it was only for a few seconds. After that, it only hurt when it moved around, much like any other piercing I’ve had, and after a few weeks it was fine. For anyone who’d like a comparison, my tongue piercing hurt less at first but was more difficult for me to take care of. YMMV.
As for as upkeep goes, frequent cleaning is the biggest thing. I got mine last Halloween, and I still wash it out with antibacterial soap every day, at minimum. It was slightly infected once (I forgot to clean it one day), but good regular cleaning took care of it. I personally used watered down Bactine on a q-tip, 3-4 times a day, followed by water so the skin didn’t get dried out, and antibacterial soap three times a day. (I took a lot of showers to make sure it was thoroughly clean, but you don’t absolutely have to do that. It just made me feel better.)
If I don’t like it will the hole close up if I don’t put anything in it for a while?
Absolutely! Just make sure in the meantime if you’re in the first year that you’re still cleaning the piercing site so it doesn’t get infected after the barbell is gone.
One note: I recommend avoiding hoops at all costs, especially if your belly button is near your waistline. They can very easily be torn out, and I don’t think that’s something you’d enjoy experiencing.