While everyone has one, not all of them look alike—belly buttons, of course. For plastic surgeons, the task is often to improve the look of the belly button, as a part of a body contouring procedure like a tummy tuck.
The belly button, or navel, is created by the shedding of the umbilical cord following birth. The tube that once supplied all of our nutrients within the womb falls away as babies are forced to rely on their own mouths, stomachs, and lungs. As writer Cari Nierenberg discusses on MSNBC’s science blog The Body Odd, the belly button is one of our least understood body parts, both strange and commonplace.
Cosmetic surgery for belly buttons is rare, but it does occur. The belly button can change shape after weight gain or pregnancy, which may cause some people to be dissatisfied with its new shape or size. Others will pursue the surgery following their lifelong dislike of their “outies.” While surgery to convert an innie to an outie is an option, Dr. Curtis Cetrulo, Jr. says that he has never encountered someone who wanted that performed.
The majority of umbilicoplasties will typically occur in conjunction with another surgery, such as a tummy tuck or umbilical hernia repair. The belly button often has a unique role in tummy tuck surgery:
- The belly button must be isolated from the surrounding skin, so that it stands on a stalk of tissue.
- Excess skin is removed and a new hole is created for the belly button.
- The belly button is incorporated into the hole and retains its natural position on the abdomen.
The surgeon may perform some cosmetic adjustments to the belly button during the surgery, based on the patient’s desires.
Dr. Robinson does correct belly buttons during tummy tuck or other body contouring procedures, but does not perform this kind of procedure as a standalone surgery. Give us a call at 219-513-2100 for more information about belly buttons, body contouring, or anything you’re interested in improving.