I just had umbilical hernia surgery a week ago. My hernia is repaired but I still have an "outie." Is this normal? (photo)

Hello I just had umbilical hernia surgery a week ago. My hernia is repaired but I still have an "outie." My whole point in having the surgery was to make my outie an innie. Is this normal? Im not sure if this is just extra skin from my outie being so big. Is this reasonable cause to tell them I am not satisfied and want it fixed. This was covered by my insurance btw.

Doctor Answers 10

Unhappy with outie belly button

You are swollen and the appearance of your navel will improve over 6 months.

The reason insurance paid was to prevent serious complications from the hernia.

If you are unhappy with the navel after 6 months, discuss a revision with your surgeon.

I still have an "outie" following umbilical hernia surgery.

Dear heetoe2,
Thanks for your question and photos. One week after surgery is still really early in the healing period. It is likely that there is still a lot of swelling under your umbilical skin. As you heal, and as this swelling resolves, you should see your umbilicus "normalize". Be sure and see your surgeon in follow-up and be patient. Although revision may be necessary, it's too soon to tell and hopefully all will work out just fine.

Kevin L. Smith, MD, FACS
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Still an "Outie"

Thank you for your picture.  Hernia surgery is not aesthetic surgery.  It is a medical procedure typically performed by a general surgeon.  Aesthetics is not a factor in the outcome.

My hernia is repaired but I still have an "outie."

We often repair umbilical hernias, sometimes as a part of tummy tuck, but also as a stand alone procedure. The hernia is a weak spot or opening in the wall and will fill with a bit of inside fat covered by the hernia sac. The hernia is reduced when repaired, or in other words the fat is pushed back in and the hole closed over. If the fat will not go in the sac is opened and the fat removed and then the hole closed. Your outie should then be tucked in and be a inie again. We don't know if you have extra skin or what is amiss.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

I just had umbilical hernia surgery a week ago. My hernia is repaired but I still have an "outie." Is this normal?

Without in person examination and a copy of the operative report very hard to determine if this appearance is normal.. 

Excess Skin after Umbilical Hernia Repair

I would recommend that you wait several months as some of the skin will shrink over time. At that point in time, you can consider revision if still needed.

Belly button hernia

A hernia is a defect in the abdominal wall.  In your case it is a defect in the abdominal wall connected to your belly button.  The hernia can be fixed but the appearance of the belly button may be influenced by a number of other factors.  Since it is early I would encourage you to wait as some of the fullness you see may be swelling.  Once healing is complete you can re-assess your results and decide what if anything you will want to do at that point.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 153 reviews

Hernia repair

I would want to know if you told your surgeon about your expectations as you have told us in your query. 

At any rate, some of this may be swelling that can be expected to resolve. Otherwise, this can probably corrected under local anesthesia once all the swelling has resolved. 

All the best. 

Swelling after surgery

The recovery time can vary from one patient to another. With any type of abdominal surgery this period of swelling can lasts for weeks to months before you see your final result

Frank J. Ferraro, MD
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

I just had umbilical hernia surgery a week ago. My hernia is repaired but I still have an "outie." Is this normal?

The very short answer for you is to have patience!!!.  It is not uncommon to have tremendous swelling shortly after surgery which masks the cosmetic outcome to follow.  When the swelling resolves, you and your surgeon may re-evlauate your umbilicus.

Dr. T

Douglas Taranow, DO, FACOS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.