You may be surprised to learn that cosmetic belly surgery, also known as umbilicoplasty, is a popular procedure aimed at enhancing the appearance of the belly button as well as the overall look of the torso or abdomen. If you’re dissatisfied with the aesthetic of your belly button, there is a relatively straightforward solution available. Since the belly button tends to catch the eye, improving its appearance can have a remarkable impact on the overall aesthetic appeal of your entire abdominal area.
There are many reasons why you may wish to have plastic surgery procedures change your belly button. Perhaps you have never liked the way your belly button looked, or maybe it has changed over time. Umbilcoplasty may help achieve any of the following desired outcomes:
- Changing an “outie” into an “innie”
- Reducing excess skin and/or wrinkles surrounding the navel
- Reconstructing the belly button (after an injury or surgery)
- Getting rid of or reducing the appearance of piercing or surgical scars
- Making the overall size of the navel smaller
- Improving navel appearance after an umbilical hernia repair
- Improving the overall appearance of the torso
Why do I have an “outie”?
One of the most common reasons that people come for cosmetic belly button surgery is to turn their “outie” into and “innie”. “Outie” belly buttons are common. Despite the common belief that “outies” are the result of the way the doctor ties the umbilical cord, “outies” are the result of small umbilical hernias.
An umbilical hernia is a small hole in the abdominal wall where the umbilical cord goes through. These holes generally close on their own, but if they do not, a small ball of fat or intestine can push through the opening and give you an “outie”. This can be very large, or very small. Small hernias often close up over time, with 80% closing by the age of 2 years.
Some people have an after belly button plastic surgery “innie”, but it pops out during pregnancy. This is because there is a tiny hernia that enlarges when the baby is growing and the abdominal pressure rises. This stretches the small pea-sized opening into a larger opening, and the belly button becomes an “outie”. Sometimes the body repairs itself after pregnancy and the belly button goes back to normal but not always. Additional pregnancies will make the opening bigger and less likely to close in its own.
Fixing an “outie”
There are three key parts of umbilicoplasty for loose skin and to fix and “outie”.
- Repair the hernia
- Remove the loose skin
- Tack the skin down to make an “Innie”
First, an incision is made and the hernia will be repaired. This means that sutures are placed in the opening to close the hole. Generally, these holes are small and easy fixed with a few stitches. Larger holes may require a piece of mesh to patch it. After the hernia is repaired, the belly button can be made into an “innie”.
However, there is excess skin from when the belly button was pooching out. This excess skin needs to be removed and then tacked down internally to re-create the “innie” belly button. This is done by removing excess skin with several carefully placed internal stitches.
Removing Old Piercing holes
The second most common reason people ask for cosmetic belly button surgery is to remove old belly button piercings. I call this the “Brittney Spears Effect”. Many women got belly button piercings years ago and are simply “over it”.
Also, the piercings can stretch out with weight loss, changes and pregnancies, making the piercing hole appear to be much higher than originally intended. It is a simple procedure to remove these piercing holes. The result is a small scar but this tends to be minimally visible.
Removing the little “Hood”
Many people also want a belly button surgery to remove a hood of skin that is hanging over the belly button. This can make the belly button appear “closed”. Removing that hang of skin will make the belly button look rounder and more open.
It is a common way to rejuvenate a belly button that some people describe as “sad looking”. Since this just involves removing some skin, and not doing any deeper repairs, the recovery time is very rapid.
How do I know if I need a Belly Button Surgery or a Tummy Tuck?
It is important to know if a belly button surgery is really what you need. If your issue is purely with your belly button, then cosmetic belly button surgery may be right for you. This would include complaints of things like an “outie, “a piercing hole, or a small hood of skin over the belly button.
However, if your complaints are the belly button AND the skin around the belly button, then you may require a tummy tuck. If you have a lot of stretchmarks around the belly button, or a lot of loose skin around the belly button, then your issue is with the abdomen and NOT with the belly button specifically. In this case, you would require a tummy tuck. A tummy tuck will address the loose skin of the abdomen AND it also includes belly button surgery.
So, belly button surgery is part of plastic surgery procedure for a tummy tuck, BUT a tummy tuck is NOT part of a belly button surgery. Your board-certified plastic surgeon will be able to tell you which procedure is best for you.
The Process of Umbilicoplasty (Belly Button Surgery)
Umbilicoplasty, or cosmetic belly button surgery, in New York City is a minor cosmetic procedure. All of these types of procedures will inevitably be different as each individual patient will have varying desires. In most belly button surgeries, however, a small incision will be made discreetly within the belly button.
This will allow access plastic surgeons to fix whatever needs to be fixed. This may include removal of extra skin, removal of extra fat, removal of piercing scar, or repair of a hernia. This can usually all be done under local anesthesia.
Questions and Answers about Umbilicoplasty Procedure
Can umbilicoplasty remove loose skin?
Say goodbye to excess skin around your belly button and hello to the adorable ‘innie’ belly button you’ve always dreamed of! Unlock your body confidence with this amazing cosmetic surgery option.
Is an umbilicoplasty the same as a tummy tuck?
An umbilicoplasty is commonly carried out to improve the outcomes of a tummy tuck procedure. However, it can also be undertaken as an independent operation. The primary goal of umbilicoplasty is to restore a natural appearance to a distorted belly button, correct a hernia, or modify the aesthetics of either an “outie” or an “innie” belly button.
What are the side effects of umbilicoplasty?
Potential complications associated with umbilicoplasty encompass scarring, unevenness, bruising, pain, discomfort, and extended swelling.
Recovering from Umbilicoplasty
Recovery from umbilicoplasty shouldn’t take long, and it’s not common to experience a lot of pain or discomfort unless you had additional procedures performed at the same time.
Most patients recover almost completely in the 24-hour period following their umbilicoplasty surgery. For others, it may take up to one to two weeks to fully feel like yourself again.
Contact Our Office
Have questions about the cosmetic surgery? To learn more about the umbilicoplasty procedure (belly button surgery) in New York City and to schedule your consultation with Dr. Schulman today, give our office a call at (212) 289-1851.