Let me know if this sounds familiar: It was Spring Break and you were with a bunch of girlfriends. You were partying a little, nothing too crazy, but the usual Spring Break stuff. A group of you decided to get your belly buttons pierced. It seemed rather innocent at the time and foolproof. If you ever change my mind later on, all I had to do was not put in a belly ring and the hole will just close up and it would be like nothing ever happened. It is not like you got a tattoo! You enjoyed your piercing for several years. Then all of a sudden, the 90’s were over and it was not so cool to have your belly button pierced, especially now that you are in your 30’s and mother to a small child. So, you stopped wearing the belly ring but the hole just didn’t seem to close. In fact, the entire belly button seemed to be stretched out. The small hole that was only on the top of your belly button now seemed to be 2 inches above it! There also is a hanging flap of skin that you swear was not there a few year earlier. Now what are you going to do? The more you look at your belly button, the more fixated you become on it. You wish there was a way to make your belly button look better but certainly there is not.
I hear this scenario (or something very similar) several times a day in my New York City Office an I have a solution for you – cosmetic belly button surgery.
Cosmetic Belly Button Surgery, or umbilicoplasty, is a procedure designed to improve the appearance of the belly button. Most commonly, it is done to convert an “outie” into an “innie”. But in recent years, patients have been increasingly requesting removal of an old belly piercing. This specific request now makes up about 30% of my umbilicoplasty cases. Removing the old piercing is more than just simply removing the hole. It usually also involves removing the skin “hood” that develops along the top of the belly button, especially after weight changes and pregnancies.
This procedure is done in the comfort of my office, using only local anesthesia. It takes approximately 45 minutes and there is virtually no pain afterwards. The sutures all dissolve on their own and you can be back to normal unrestricted activities in 1 or 2 days.