Did you have your belly button pierced in the 90s? Does it now look a little less appealing? As the women who sported this era’s trend hit their mid-thirties, plastic surgeons are seeing an increase in requests for umbilicoplasty.
Celebrities like Britney Spears and Beyonce drove the craze for navel piercings, but as women age, have babies or gain and lose weight, they might find their piercings have become distorted.
According to RealSelf, there's been a 21% increase in people asking for navel surgery in the UK compared to last year. The uptick can also be seen in the United States, where 12% more people are expressing interest in umbilicoplasty compared to 2017.
Another factor thought to be fuelling the trend in belly button procedures is the fashion fo gym clothing. The #fitspo (fitness inspiration) brigade on Instagram are forever showing off their toned tummies in lycra sportswear and yoga pants, making the rest of us want to get in on the act.
As such, demand for belly button surgery includes procedures to both repair and reshape, and to improve aesthetics by turning ‘outies’ into ‘innies’. People are also seeking to change the orientation of their navels (horizontal to vertical) to give the illusion of a more toned abdomen.
Whatever your goals, umbilicoplasty is a relatively straightforward procedure to carry out, can be performed under local anesthetic and requires little downtime. Find out more...
Changing the shape and size of your belly button
From a cosmetic perspective, the belly button is an important part of our anatomy. Its shape and size has an effect on the overall appearance of the abdomen. If you feel your belly button is too large and gaping, it can be made smaller by removing extra belly button skin and tightening the bordering abdominal skin around the belly button.
If you think your belly button is too small (perhaps because loose skin is hanging over and covering it), its appearance can be improved by removing some of the surrounding abdominal skin and gently stretching the belly button tissue to reach the enlarged border. This technique can also be used to repair the hangover left by piercings. Meanwhile, scar tissue from piercings can be cut away and stitched to leave just a fine scar.
A belly button that is off centre is another factor that can detract from the appearance of the stomach (sometimes this happens as a result of tummy tuck), but this can also be corrected. Sutures placed underneath can help pull it into optimal position.
Sutures can also be used to create a belly button that is vertically-oriented (stretched from above and below) in order to makes the torso look longer and the abs leaner.
Changing a belly button from an ‘outie’ to an ‘innie’
Got a sticky-out belly button but would prefer to have one that’s concave? Umbilical hernia repair can give you the navel you desire. So-called ‘outie’ belly buttons are caused by tissue, usually fat, protruding through a small hole in the abdominal wall. This makes the belly button bulge outward.
You can have an umbilical hernia from birth or sometimes an 'outie' can appear later in life due to pregnancy or heavy exertion. The procedure to fix it is a little more complicated than an umbilicoplasty, involving repairing the hole in the abdominal wall.
In addition to creating a more aesthetically pleasing midriff, repairing an umbilical hernia can have medical benefits by preventing the small intestine from potentially pushing out of the abdomen.
Although the surgery does not take long to perform, anyone undergoing this procedure must avoid any form of exertion or exercise that could put pressure on the weakened area for a number of weeks.
Dealing with other tummy concerns
If your dissatisfaction with your tummy goes further than the appearance of your navel, you might want to consider a tummy tuck. An abdominoplasty will rid you of excess fat, loose skin and tighten up lax tummy muscles, as well as give you an ideally shaped and sized belly button.
If you have an umbilical hernia or have suffered diastasis rectus abdominus (separation of the abdominal muscles) as a result of pregnancy, these conditions can be corrected at the same time as the tummy tuck is carried out.
If you’d like discuss your suitability for umbilicoplasty or abdominoplasty, contact Ocean Clinic Marbella for a consultation.