Belly button or navel surgery, also known as umbilicoplasty, is a cosmetic surgery procedure to change the size, shape or position of the belly button to make it more ‘aesthetically pleasing’. Increasing numbers of people want their belly buttons to be perfectly shaped and this operation can achieve this. Mostly, belly button surgery will involve making an ‘outie’ into an ‘innie’ or making an ‘innie’ a little less obvious by lessening the size of the hole. Frequently, belly button surgery is also performed on a patient who is undergoing a tummy tuck. It is a relatively simple surgery that takes place under a general or local anaesthetic and usually lasts about an hour.
Am I a Candidate? People have different reasons for wanting to have their navels re-shaped. Often candidates for belly button surgery are those who have had a badly shaped navel from birth, or as a result of some sort of trauma or faulty surgery in the past; people who have a small hernia which may stick out in a little lump next to the belly button; or those with flat or elongated navels that they would like to be made rounder.
Before Surgery – Your first discussion with a plastic/cosmetic surgeon should clearly set out your expectations and whether the operation can give you the results you desire. A surgeon will assess your suitability for naval surgery, and may also recommend additional treatments such as liposuction or a tummy tuck, to achieve the results that you desire.
During Surgery – Belly button surgery can be performed using local anaesthetic to numb the area around the belly button, combined with a sedative to make you drowsy, so that you remain awake but feel very little discomfort. There are two options for treatment: to change the position of the belly button, the surgeon will remove skin around the navel, then pull the remaining skin tightly together and stitch it up so that the belly button appears higher or lower. Alternatively, if you only want to alter the shape of the belly button, such as transforming a protruding belly button to a non-protruding belly button, the plastic surgeon will make incisions in or around the belly button, so that the scarring is less visible. Belly button surgery will usually take no longer than one hour for a surgeon to perform, and the surgeon will try to make incisions inside the belly button to minimize visible scars. Stitches are usually dissolvable and will not require a return visit to be removed.
Recovery – Depending on the nature of your operation, you may be released from hospital after only a few hours and patients can usually return to light activities the day after having belly button surgery. In order to maintain the results, it is important not to lose or gain too much weight.
Benefits – Navel surgery can change the size, shape or position of the belly button to make it more aesthetically pleasing.
Risks and Complications – Your belly will be quite swollen, bruised and painful for a few days after surgery, and be warned that navel surgery will not make your stomach appear thinner or firmer – so you’ll have to get to the gym or start saving up for lipo if you’re looking for a complete tum transformation. Very rare risks and side effects of belly button surgery include infection and an irregular or a ‘lop-sided’ appearance of the belly button which may require further surgery to correct.
Cost – Prices for navel surgery can range from £800 to £1,500.
Choosing a Surgeon Only fully trained and qualified plastic surgeons should perform a belly button operation. This operation is one of the lower risk cosmetic surgery procedures in the hands of an experienced and reputable surgeon. Search our directory of qualified and approved cosmetic surgeons from clinics around the U.K.