Every once in a while, a patient will come into my NYC office asking for cosmetic surgery of the belly button. (The media tries to make this out to be a fad, but I don’t really see it that way.) Plastic surgeons who perform a lot of tummy tuck procedures are all fairly well trained to handle these kinds of problems, so I thought patients should know that we may be able to help them out. I’m going to present a few belly button photos below to help the reader understand what can be done and why.
Sometimes these umbilical issues are truly reconstructive cases, occasionally the patient has an umbilical hernia and fixing that is essential to the cosmetic outcome. At other times the case is purely aesthetic in nature. For those patients, I can typically perform the procedure under local anesthetic in my office.
Belly Button “Removed” by Previous Surgery
This patient came in to see me because her belly button had been completely obliterated by emergency surgery about 18 months prior to meeting her. She also had some reconstructive work done, but was still left without an umbilicus. I did my best to create a brand new belly button where none was present before. (For details about scar revision, see this blog post.) Again, this woman was very happy with the result.
This patient is a male who had a large umbilical hernia for quite some time and finally decided to have it repaired. I assisted the general surgeon, and frankly prevented him from creating a very large incision above the belly button (as we were all trained to perform the operation that way). The other surgeon resisted but agreed with my plan to create our repair by limiting our incision to the umbilical rim. I then trimmed some of the excess skin and closed as best I could in an attempt to reconstruct the patient’s belly button. Again, the outcome is quite acceptable from a cosmetic standpoint.
Flattened Belly Button After Pregnancy
This is a woman who came in to see me stating that she “hated” her belly button ever since she had children because it had become so “flat” and “wide”. Frankly, I thought she was being a little excessive when I spoke to her, but after hearing what she wanted, I knew I could deliver a good result. Using local anesthetic in my office OR, I basically moved her tissues around and tried to create a more narrow and deeper umbilicus. She was very happy with her outcome – so much so that I again thought she was a little over the top with her exclamations.
So, while many of my surgical colleagues tease me about my “obsession” with the umbilicus, I think it’s worth the trouble. After all, in many of my operations, the only scar that is visible to the outside world is that belly button incision. I have to make it look good!
If you are interested in improving the look of your midsection, including reshaping your belly button, we’re happy to discuss your options. Feel free to request a consultation using our online form or call us at (212) 249-4020 to schedule an appointment.