Q: Dr. Eppley, Hi I am 18 yrs old and I have been insecure about my body for quite some time now. At the time I was born to the present I have been very depressed because I have a huge navel. (outie). I really find it hard to wear clothes without thinking about my navel. For example, If they are going to see it, what will their reaction be, etc. I am tired of being unable to wear bathing suites and clothes and I need a solution. Today was the first time i heard that there was a surgery called Umbilicoplasty that can change an outie into an inne. I need help. I am wanting to know what can be done.
A: The belly button or umbilicus is really nothing but a scar that extends from the skin down to the abdominal wall. Originally it was where the umbilical cord extended through the abdominal wall. Thus it really represents a small hole or defect in the abdominal wall. In most people, that scar is inverted or v-shaped and is an inne. In the minority of people it can be an outie because a small amount of peritoneal fat protrudes through the abdominal wall pushing the scar outward making an outie. In essence being a small abdominal wall hernia. Some outies are just everted scar but bigger ones are actual small hernias. Either way, an outie can be fixed by changing the scar to attach directly down to the abdominal wall or fixing the hernia. This is known as an umbilicoplasty and changing an outie to an innie is the most common non-tummy tuck form of it.
Dr. Barry Eppley