Are You An Outie Or An Innie?

Plastic Surgeon serving Lutherville Timonium, Baltimore & Columbia areas of Maryland

The way we all receive nutrition and what it takes to survive while in our mother's in the belly button. It is also known as the navel or medically, the umbilicus. This is a part of our anatomy and is the one feature that most humans share. They may be all different shapes and sizes. Some are "Innies" and others are "Outies". Many believe that you have one or the other depending on how the doctor cut it at birth, when this actually has nothing to do with it's shape. It is totally coincidental why one develops and "Outie" versus and "Innie".

An "Outie" belly button for many people is bothersome in a social aspect. Since the majority of us have an "Innie", people with an "Outie" may feel they are abnormal. Children are often ridiculed and will take every measure possible to keep their belly button hidden. If a child is suffering from this ridicule or their "Outie" is taking away their self-esteem, many times parents will seek surgical help to correct this 'malformation'. As adults that grew up with this ‘malformation’ and parents never did anything about it, will seek surgical help for themselves.

Reshaping the "Outie" is called and Umbilicoplasty. In today's society where bellybutton piercings and tattoos are the all the rage, this procedure has grown in popularity. This procedure will convert an "Outie" o an "Innie", reshaping this area of the body and allowing people to be more comfortable with their body and often times, helping the self-confidence and self-esteem.

The principle employed with a Umbilicoplasty is similare to the repair of a mini-umbilical hernia.Before one undergoes an Umbilicoplasty, they should first have a clear understanding of why some belly buttons are "Innnies" and others are "Outies". The "Innie" bellybutton is a scar band that is bound and attached to the facia. The bellybutton is situated in the middle of two vertical rectus abdominus muscles.

While these twi muscles are not directly united, they are connected by the wrapping fascia. The "Innie" scar is adherered to the fascia between the muscles. During a mini-tummy tuck, doctors usually use a technique that is known as the umbilical float and consists of cutting the base of the belly button away from the fascia will expose a tiny opening and fat protrusion from the abdominal cavity.

Most of the time, thos with an "Outie" bellybutton is due to consequences from a small hole remaining as the cut umbilical stump mends during birth. This allows for a tiny stem of peritoneal fat to bulge out, subsequently an umbilical scar that mends with a dome shape giving the look of the "Outie" instead of the "Innie". Many people with and "Outie' will push their "Outie" in only to have come out right back out.

For women that have an "Innie", pregnancy often leaves them with an "Outie". This confirms for us that all "Outie" bellybuttons is 'mini’ umbilical hernia and for pregnant wome, this comes from the pressure on the abdominal from the fetus pushes the fascial weakness at the base of the belly button.

The esthetically appealing bellybutton is usually described as narrow, symmetric and vertical. Women will have an upper hood on theirs, however, men usually have a rounder inversion with no hood. An umbilicoplasty procedure will change the "Outie" bellybutton to look narrow, symmetric and vertical.

If you have an “Outie” bellybutton and want to get that symmetric, vertical, thin look for your tummy, give us a call at The Plastic Surgery Center Of Maryland. The first step to getting that cute bellybutton is an appointment with Dr. Adam Basner!