As its name suggests, cosmetic belly button surgery is performed to alter the appearance of the belly button. Also known as umbilicoplasty, this increasingly popular procedure is one of the safe cosmetic surgery procedures. This is most commonly performed to restore belly button appearance following pregnancy, weight loss, or piercing damage. Although an umbilicoplasty is often performed as a stand-alone procedure, it can likewise be performed alongside other abdominal surgeries such as liposuction or abdominoplasty.
How to Prepare for Surgery
As stands to reason, it’s imperative to find a reputable and experienced surgeon to perform the procedure. To this end, it’s recommended that prospective patients should consult with 2-3 surgeons before coming to a final decision.
In order to reduce the potential for postoperative complications, it’s advised that smokers should quit smoking at least 1-month prior to the procedure. Similarly, patients may need to stop taking certain medications or herbal supplements in the run-up to the operation.
In circumstances where general anesthesia is being used, patients are required to fast for several hours prior to surgery.
Depending on the complexity of the surgery, an umbilicoplasty can be performed either under local anesthesia and sedation or under general anesthesia. While, typically, the procedure lasts for less than 1 hour, in more complex cases, an umbilicoplasty can take up to 4 hours to complete.
In all cases, surgery first entails making a small incision around the circumference of the belly button. Thereafter, surgical paths diverge according to a patient’s specific requirements. So, whereas in some cases extra skin will be removed, in other cases, a small section of abdominal skin will be suspended over the belly button. Altogether, there are 10 different reshaping techniques available to surgeons.
Following surgery, in the majority of cases, patients can typically return to work within a day or two. Much more restrictive, however, is the recommendation to avoid exercise for several weeks. Moreover, in order to best facilitate the healing process, patients should wait for 3-4 weeks before fully immersing themselves in water.
Similarly, given the likelihood of postoperative swelling, bruising, or discomfort, patients are required to wear a sturdy cotton bandage for approximately 5 days.
To help prevent scarring, patients are asked to;
- Keep their belly button clean
- Refrain from pulling on the surgery site
- Protect the area from exposure to the sun
Other than when dissolvable stitches have been used, it’s generally the case that a patient’s stitches are removed 7-10 days after the operation.
In comparison to other more intricate abdominal procedures, such as abdominoplasty or liposuction, cosmetic belly button surgery has notably fewer risks. However, that’s not to say that there are no risks involved with the procedure.
For example, although the use of anesthesia generally causes few problems, on rare occasions it can increase the risk of pneumonia or blood clots. Moreover, this is particularly true when an underlying medical condition is present.
An umbilicoplasty can also lead to infection or bleeding. On top of that, from time to time, the surgical scarring can prove to be permanent.