Can Belly Button Repair Fix My Outie?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have a large outie belly button that appeared after a prior abdominal surgery about ten years ago. Having had two children afterwards the size of the outie is increasing. Besides the outie, my belly button is way too wide and looks like a ‘sombrero’ to think of the closest analogy that I can. I have attached a picture for your assessment as to how fix this saucer-sized outie belly button. I absolutely hate it!

A: Thank you for your inquiry and sending your picture. Your large outie is likely the result of an umbilical hernia from your original abdominal surgery. (noting the midline abdominal scar above and below the umbilicus) Your belly button repair (umbilicoplasty) would require a combination of correcting the hernia and simultaneously converting the outie into an innie umbilical shape. This can usually be done successfully, particularly when one has the ‘advantage’ of being able to use some of the abdominal scar above and below the belly button. But the key is to repair the hernia which is pushing out on the belly button thus creating its outie appearance. The outie skin can then be tacked back down to the abdominal fascia, recreating an innie funnel look.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana