Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in an umbilicoplasty procedure. My belly button has turned into an outie after my pregnancies and looks abnormal. Why does it look this way and what can be done about it? How does the umbilicoplasty procedure work?

A: Thank you for sending your pictures. Your current umbilical shape is primarily because you have a disinsertion of the umbilical stalk from the abdominal wall. This is probably associated with a small defect in the abdominal wall although not necessarily a true hernia. This has allowed the entire umbilicus to come protruding outward which is why it looks like there is a ‘smaller ring inside a bigger outer ring. There are also issues with the overall diameter of the umbilicus and its length although these are more minor. What initially has to be done for your umbilicoplasty is to reattach the center of the extruded umbilicus back down to the abdominal wall to return its shape to that of a single inward funnel. The length of the funnel would also be shortened at the same time. Such a procedure would be done through an incision inside the umbilicus.

An actual physical examination may change this opinion which is based on your pictures only. (but probably won’t)

Dr. Barry Eppley
Indianapolis, Indiana