The belly button, known medically as the umbilicus, is the only change in contour of an otherwise flat or round abdomen. While it was at one-time a vital connection between mother and fetus providing the sole nourishment for development, it remains only as a scarred reminder of its significance after birth. While belly buttons can have many shapes, most have an indented or inverted shape known as an innie. This is nothing more than a funnel-shaped scar that attaches down to the abdominal wall. More uncommonly, one may have an outie which appears as a bulge inside of the outer ring of the belly button indentation. This can be present at birth or can appear after pregnancy. In either case, the outie belly button may be a hernia. Changing an outie to an innie belly button, known as an umbilicoplasty, often involves a small hernia repair.
Dr. Barry Eppley