Belly Button Plastic Surgery: What’s the Deal?
By Chelsea Campbell
Just when you thought plastic surgery had covered just about every niche, along comes a new procedure that will make many people do a double take. We’re talking about belly button plastic surgery, and there is actually a medical term for it: umbilicoplasty. This procedure restores the size and appearance of one’s belly button after pregnancy, substantial weight loss, an umbilical hernia, a long abandoned navel piercing, or simply to change the current appearance into something more flattering. Umbilicoplasty is on the rise, and here’s what you need to know about this up and coming procedure.
This particular cosmetic surgery has been gaining popularity as of late, and there are many reasons why someone would choose to undergo plastic surgery on their belly button, of all places. Some women have loose skin around their belly buttons after removing a navel piercing or losing a significant amount of weight, and are aiming to tighten up the skin for a sleeker-looking midsection. Others simply do not like their “outie” or feel that their belly button is too large, and are looking for a change in the size or shape. New moms seem to be especially interested in this procedure after recovering from a pregnancy. When the abdomen expands rapidly during pregnancy, it can leave loose skin or a stretched out appearance to the belly button. It could also make a former “innie” into an “outie”, and many women are seeking to get their pre-baby belly buttons back. Whatever the reason, there are a few popular procedures that can rejuvenate your belly button into something you are proud to show off.
The Umbilical Hernia
For many patients, most commonly women who were pregnant, suffering from an umbilical hernia is the reason behind their desire for a better belly button. According an Allure article, board certified plastic surgeon Darren Smith explains that an umbilical hernia is “a condition in which tissue, usually fat, protrudes through a small hole in the abdominal wall (comprised of connective tissue and the six-pack muscles) and makes the belly button bulge outward for a prominent 'outtie' appearance.” Although a majority of patients are women who experienced a hernia after pregnancy and wish to repair it for aesthetic reasons, the surgery can also prevent pain and complications caused by the small intestine pushing out of the abdomen.
The Ins and Outs
There are a few differing factors when considering an umbilicoplasty. For many patients who are already undergoing a tummy tuck, an umbilicoplasty is usually incorporated into the procedure and the combination of the two can restore the look of the entire midriff. A tummy tuck requires about six weeks of downtime before you are considered healed and it is costly at between $10,000 to $15,000.
If the umbilicoplasty is an isolated procedure, meaning not part of a tummy tuck or an umbilical hernia repair, it is a fairly minimal surgery that takes under an hour under sedation or local anesthesia. The surgeon will make a small incision around the belly button and remove or manipulate excess skin to obtain your desired results. This procedure will usually set you back between $2,500 and $5,000 and is not covered by insurance. The upside? Unlike a tummy tuck, an umbilicoplasty is considered a minor surgery and only takes only a few days to recover from.
Finally, if your umbilicoplasty requires an umbilical hernia repair, the procedure will be more involved and will require more recovery time than just a standard umbilicoplasty. However, because the motivation behind an umbilicoplasty for an umbilical hernia goes beyond aesthetics, it is often covered by insurance.
If you are interested in restoring or reshaping your belly button, make sure to find a board-certified, trusted physician who can discuss your concerns and your options with you. It is important to have realistic expectations and to understand that the recovery process will take some patience, as your final results will not be determined until the incisions and scars fully heal. Afterward, you can enjoy showing off your belly button with confidence!