Belly button reconstruction surgery, or umbilicoplasty, is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure to change the appearance of the belly button.
A person may consider belly button reconstruction to repair scar tissue or change the size and shape of the belly button.
This article reviews what belly button reconstruction surgery is, what happens during the procedure, and what to expect from preparation and recovery.
A person can undergo the procedure at a doctor’s office or in a hospital setting. They may only need local anesthesia, though some facilities may offer general anesthesia according to the person’s need. Learn about anesthesia.
The procedure involves the surgeon removing excess skin around the belly button. They may partially raise or lower the belly button, depending on the desired results of the procedure.
The surgeon will then use several stitches to hold the belly button in the right place as it heals.
The procedure is relatively quick and should not require a stay in the hospital.
A person may not need to do much to prepare for the procedure.
However, an individual should make sure they find and use a board certified surgeon to perform the procedure. They may also want to have a consultation with more than one surgeon to find the best fit.
Learn more about choosing a surgeon.
A person should discuss any medications with the surgeon or surgery team before the procedure. The surgical staff should provide instructions for what they should do leading up to the surgery. This may include when they should eat their last meal, if they should stop taking any medications, or if they should stop smoking before the procedure.
A person can typically go home shortly after the procedure. If doctors administered general anesthesia for the reconstruction, the individual may need to arrange for someone else to take them home afterward.
A person may experience discomfort or pain at the incision following the procedure. The surgeon will be able to advise on how long they expect this to last and when to contact the surgeon if pain persists.
An individual should also discuss recovery expectations with the surgeon or surgical staff. They should be able to provide a full list of activities and timeframes to help them judge when they can return to what activities.
The surgeon or surgical staff can also give instructions on how to care for the area and provide information about signs to look for that it is healing properly. A person will need to speak with a doctor if they develop an infection or other symptoms following the procedure.
As with any procedure, a belly button reconstruction procedure carries some risks.
Anesthesia may cause complications such as breathing problems during and after the surgery.
Complications from the surgery
- umbilical stenosis, which is narrowing of the umbilical opening
- umbilical necrosis, which is the death of umbilical tissue
- scar hypertrophy
- transient skin erythema, or changes to skin color
A person should discuss possible risks with the surgeon they choose to do the procedure.
Belly button reconstruction surgery is a cosmetic surgery that aims to repair or replace a belly button.
The procedure is generally safe and effective and requires minimal recovery time. However, a person may not get the results they want or may develop an infection at the incision.
Individuals should talk with a doctor if they develop an infection at the incision site or other signs that could indicate a problem with the procedure.
A person considering belly button reconstruction should consult with more than one board certified surgeon to make sure that they find the right surgeon to carry out their procedure.