The bellybutton is the first scar that you ever get, and while most women may never think about it, there are many who are dissatisfied with the appearance of their bellybuttons. A recent episode of The Doctors highlights bellybutton surgery, or umbilicoplasty, which can help women who dislike their bellybuttons.
Why would someone dislike the appearance of their bellybutton? “Good candidates for this procedure are those who are born with outies and women who have had multiple pregnancies and their bellybutton has changed over time,” explains plastic surgeon Dr. Matthew Schulman.
Juanice, a young woman in the video, has had a protruding navel since she was born. “What you actually have is a hernia,” Dr. Schulman explains to her. “It’s very common, and most people are born with hernias. That’s what’s giving the outie appearance. But the good news is we can do something about it.
“We have a hole in our abdominal wall, which is where the umbilical cord went in with the blood vessels when we were a baby. That will usually close when you’re born and shortly after birth. If it doesn’t close, what happens is this stuff on the inside pops out. Whether it’s a little piece of intestine or fat, the stuff that belongs on the inside isn’t there.
“So what we need to do is fix the hole, close the hole, so everything can go back in…. But if you close that opening without getting rid of all that excess skin, then you still don’t have a good-looking bellybutton…. It’s just fixing half of the problem.”
In the video, you can see Dr. Schulman performing the surgery, which involves the strategic use of stitches to enhance the appearance of the bellybutton.
Bellybutton surgery is often performed alongside other plastic surgeries, such as tummy tuck surgery. It is especially desirable after after massive weight loss, pregnancy, or liposuction, which can leave excess skin.