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The popularity of cosmetic umbilicoplasty, otherwise known as belly button surgery, has skyrocketed in the past few years. Most of the patients who undergo a belly button surgery are women, but men also use the procedure to sculpt a more aesthetically pleasing belly button. Belly button surgery can be performed at the same time as a tummy tuck or other cosmetic procedure, and is sometimes done in conjunction with hernia repair.
Best Candidates for Belly Button Surgery
Normally belly button surgery may be performed on a patient who is undergoing a tummy tuck.
Nevertheless with current fashion and belly buttons on show much more, some women want to alter the size and shape of their navels with an umbilicoplasty procedure.
This operation on its own and in the hands of an experienced surgeon is one of the lower risk cosmetic surgery procedures available.
It is, however, very important for you to describe exactly how you see your navel looking after the operation with a surgeon who regularly performs belly button surgery.
How long the results will last is difficult to predict, and depends upon you not losing or gaining too much weight. If you get too fat, for example, your navel could disappear altogether!
Your surgeon will discuss how long they expect the results to last with you, based on their own experience and the experience of their colleagues.
There are few absolute medical reasons why you should not undergo belly button surgery as long as you are in good general health and have realistic expectations of this procedure.
If you have experienced healing problems with any past surgical treatments or if you are prone to keloid (red, angry, raised) scars, your surgeon may not recommend an abdominoplasty or may caution you that scars could be very visible and permanent.
What Belly Button Surgery Can Do
Belly button surgery can turn almost any shape or size of navel into almost any other shape/size, and in many cases, belly button surgery patients are attempting to create a more youthful looking midriff, hoping that their belly button surgery will either result in an entirely different navel from the one they had growing up, or are using the belly button surgery to reverse changes brought on by weight gain, pregnancy, or age. In most belly button surgery cases, the patient wants to correct a protruding bellybutton, or turn their "outtie" into an "innie". For most patients, the belly button surgery results would be a vertically-oriented belly button or one that is T-shaped, with a tiny flap of skin overhanging the belly button.
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Belly Button Surgery Overview
If belly button surgery is the only procedure being performed, it usually requires only local anesthesia. In some cases, a belly button surgery patient may receive a sedative via an intravenous drip. Surgeons can perform belly button surgery in their offices or in a surgical center, and the entire process takes between 30 and 90 minutes from start to finish. The scar resulting from a belly button surgery is concealed inside the navel, and there is little if any swelling, bruising or discomfort, and results of a belly button surgery are immediately visible. Patients may return to work or other daily activities the same day as their belly button surgery and the sutures are usually dissolvable, eliminating the need to return to the doctor to have stitches removed. Usually, the belly button surgery results will be permanent, unless patients gain significant amounts of weight or become pregnant following surgery.
Belly button surgery can be performed using local anaesthesia 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
A general anaesthetic may be recommended or offered by your surgeon, but please take into account that this carries more potential risks – this should be clearly explained by the surgeon before you make any decisions about the anaesthetic.
If you make a decision to go ahead with an umbilicoplasty, the actual procedure may take place in an outpatient surgical clinic or a hospital setting.
The surgery will usually take no longer than one hour for a surgeon to perform – but it can be longer if an umbilical hernia needs to be repaired or removed.
Different techniques are used to reshape your belly button depending upon the surgeon and the type of new shape you require.
The surgeon will try and cut your skin inside the belly button to make the scars less visible after the operation.
A light dressing may be applied immediately following the operation, but no surgical drains are required.
Stitches are usually dissolvable and do not need a return visit to be removed.
Belly Button Results
Patients who decide to undergo belly button surgery may appear to be making only the slightest adjustment, but this small change can create a greater sense of poise and pride in appearance. In a society that has become admittedly obsessed with midriff baring styles, belly button surgery gives patients confidence in their appearance and allows them to enjoy a full range of fashions without feeling self-conscious. Belly button surgery is safe, quick, inexpensive, and provides immediate results with little risk of complications or side effects.
Recovery After Umbilicoplasty
Umbilicoplasty recovery generally takes a week or so; but you can usually return to light activities the day after your operation.
Umbilicoplasty Post Operative Care
It is very important that you follow the advice of your surgeon carefully after an umbilicoplasty.
Post-surgery advice may include:
- using recommended painkillers as required;
- contacting your surgeon immediately if you notice any signs of infection or if you experience bleeding or a sudden increase in pain
Possible Umbilicoplasty Risks
Pain following an umbilicoplasty is usually mild and can be easily controlled with painkillers suggested by your surgeon.
Bruising and swelling after belly button surgery is usually quite light and short-lived.
Like all surgical procedures, there is always a possibility of risks or side effects and, although rare, these can include infection, a reaction to the anaesthesia, blood or fluid collection underneath the skin, numbness and an irregular or a “lop-sided” appearance of the belly button (which may require further surgery to correct).
Scars are usually hidden within the belly button, but excessive scar formation can occasionally occur where the scars broaden and thicken.