Can Belly Button Reshaping Change An Outie To An Innie?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in belly button reshaping and it seems like you have done this surgery. Since most doctors said they can not do anything I am not sure if it is the stitching that is the problem or under the stitching. I removed my gallbladder last year, since then it has not been the same. I had a beautiful innie and now I am somewhat outie and it has been emotionally upsetting for me. I do not want to have any noticeable scars after doing the procedure or to make matter worse. I just want to make sure it will look the same as before. Please let me know how is it done and where is the scar hidden. Thank you so much for your understanding and your time.

A: Most cases of belly button reshaping is done to change outies to innies. Outie belly buttons may occur naturally or as a result of a surgical procedure as in your case. Your gall bladder was most likely removed by a laparoscopic technique of which one port was done through the belly button. Given that an innie belly button is nothing more than skin tethered down to the abdominal wall fascia, the insertion of the laparoscope disrupted this funnel-shaped attachment and now the belly button skin is just floating so to speak. Thus your innie became a partial outie now. Your belly button can be repaired by reattaching it back down to the abdominal fascia through an incision inside the belly button. This rsults in no scar on the outside. This can be done under local or light IV sedation anesthesia. I have performed this procedure numerous times for exactly the problem you now have.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana