Umbilicoplasty: Belly button surgery

An ever increasing number of people want to achieve the most aesthetically pleasing body they can and the naval is no exception. The mid section is more visible than ever today, with cropped tops and revealing hipster trousers in fashion, and the majority of people prefer an ‘innie’ belly button. An unusual belly button, or ‘outie’, can severely affect a person’s body image and self confidence.

Why do I have an ‘outie’ belly button and not an ‘innie’?

Your belly button is a scar from where the umbilical cord was attached when you were inside your mother’s womb.  After you were born the cord was cut, leaving scar tissue that is usually inside a hole and is known as an ‘innie’ belly button. If there’s extra scar tissue, or the stomach muscles do not properly fuse together once the cord stump falls off, you are left with an ‘outie’.

What is Umbilicoplasty Surgery (Belly button surgery)?

An umbilicoplasty operation (belly button surgery) enables people to achieve the belly button aesthetic they desire. The majority of operations involve turning an ‘outie’ into an ‘innie’ or making an ‘innie’ more subtle by reducing the size of the belly button.

Before surgery

Before you undergo any cosmetic surgery you will need to discuss your expected outcomes of the procedure with a surgeon. They will advise whether the operation can accomplish the results you want to achieve and may suggest that umbilicoplasty surgery be combined with liposuction to achieve the look you desire.

The surgeon will look at your medical history, to see if there is any reason you are not suitable for the operation, and you will have to sign a consent form that outlines you understand the potential risks of the surgery.

The procedure can usually be performed with a local anaesthetic, to numb the area around your belly button, and a sedative that will make you drowsy and less receptive to any pain. Your surgeon may offer you general anaesthetic but you should be made aware of the increased potential risks before you proceed.

The Umbilicoplasty Operation

Umbilicoplasty procedures can be performed in an outpatient surgical clinic, or in a hospital, and is usually completed within an hour but can take longer if a hernia needs to be removed, or the operation is combined with a tummy tuck or liposuction.

The surgeon will use different techniques to reshape your naval, depending on the look you want to achieve, and any incisions will be made inside your belly button to reduce the visibility of any scars. Dissolvable stitches are used and there is no need for surgical drains, dressing is applied once the procedure is completed.

After the Operation

Depending on the scale of your umbilicoplasty, you can be released from the clinic or hospital within a few hours after the operation. You can return to work, and activities that are not too physically demanding, within a couple of days. To fully recover from umbilicoplasty surgery takes about 1 week.

Have you had belly button surgery? Are you thinking about Umbilicoplasty? If so, we'd love to hear from you.