The umbilicoplasty procedure is used to enhance the appearance of the belly button. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia in the office. The procedure is not a substitute for a tummy tuck.

What is an umbilicoplasty?

Umbilicoplasty refers to any procedure to improve the appearance of the belly button (the umbilicus). Although it can be combined with an umbilical hernia repair, it is most commonly used to revise scars (including piercing scars) or enhance the shape of the belly button.

The belly button itself can stretch or change in shape after pregnancy, with weight loss, with age, and from sun damage or other factors. Patients who have an umbilical piercing before pregnancy often want to remove the scar after pregnancy. An umbilicoplasty can remove a piercing scar or redefine the shape of the umbilicus, but it cannot remove large areas of stretched skin from the surrounding belly.

If patients have an umbilical hernia, a so-called “outtie,” this can be repaired concurrently by closing the defect in the abdominal muscles that cause the hernia. If a hernia is large or recurrent, it is usually best repaired first by a general surgeon.

How does umbilicoplasty surgery work?

Each umbilicoplasty is individually tailored to the patient’s anatomy and goals, to achieve a natural esthetic result. Skin is most commonly removed from the top of the umbilicus. For most patients, the goal is to produce a smaller umbilicus with a natural shape. The shape varies based on the patient’s natural belly button shape. Most patients benefit from having a subtle shelf or hood at the top, also. As much as possible, the incisions are tucked into the belly button to minimize them.

Before the treatment, it’s important to consult with Dr. Goldman to understand your goals and expectations and discuss probable outcomes, risks, and benefits. Medical history, including medications and allergies, is also assessed. Patients should not smoke because it interferes with wound healing.

What are the benefits of umbilicoplasty?

An umbilicoplasty is designed to enhance the appearance of the belly button by optimizing shape and size.

Who is a good candidate for an umbilicoplasty?

The ideal candidate for an umbilicoplasty has good overall abdominal aesthetics, no hernias, but some distortion in the shape and size of the umbilicus. Although an umbilical hernia can be repaired at the same time, this is often done separately by a general surgeon, in part because umbilicoplasties are usually performed under local anesthesia, and umbilical hernia repairs are usually done under general anesthesia.

Furthermore, patients who have significant abdominal skin excess generally require a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) to remove this excess skin. The umbilicoplasty can only remove a small amount of skin. Usually, skin from just above or inside the umbilicus is removed, including piercing scars if present. If skin excess and stretch marks are present in the central abdomen, a tummy tuck is required.

As with aesthetic surgery in general, patients should be healthy, non-smoking, not pregnant, and ideally have stable body weight. Although patients can get pregnant after an umbilicoplasty, we generally wait until after childbearing to perform this procedure, since further pregnancies will tend to stretch out the belly button again.

Can you combine belly button surgery with other procedures?

Umbilicoplasty is often performed as a stand-alone office procedure. However, it is a standard part of Dr. Goldman’s abdominoplasties. With a tummy tuck, he will always optimize the size and shape of the belly button. In a standard abdominoplasty, the belly button is maintained in its natural position on the abdominal wall, but the umbilicus has to be brought out a new keyhole after abdominal wall skin is removed, pulled down, and tightened (or it would be buried under the abdominal skin).

There is always a scar around the umbilicus, although the scar tends to be well hidden. Therefore, an umbilicoplasty is part of every tummy tuck that Dr. Goldman performs.

As already noted, umbilicoplasty can be combined with hernia repair in specific situations.

How long does it take to recover from umbilicoplasty?

If an umbilicoplasty is performed as an isolated procedure in the office, the patient can go to work the next day, use only Tylenol for pain medication, and exercise in less than a week. It is normal to experience mild bruising, swelling, and discomfort when recovering.

Umbilicoplasty risks and complications

No surgery is risk-free, but the incidence of complications from umbilicoplasty is very low. These include infection, bleeding, and poor wound healing. The most common issues are aesthetics, so it is important to have a thorough discussion with your surgeon about whether the procedure is right for you.

Umbilicoplasty procedure cost

Price range varies, but a typical umbilicoplasty procedure performed under local anesthesia can cost between $2,000 and $5,000.

Contact Dr. Goldman

If you think that you may be a candidate for an umbilicoplasty, call Beachwood Plastic Surgery by Dr. Steven Goldman at 216-514-8899 or Westlake Plastic Surgery by Dr. Steven Goldman at 440-871-8899 to schedule your initial consultation.