By Devon Abelman. Photos: Getty Images, Courtesy of Instagram.
Now that it's getting warmer outside, more people are opting for a little-know procedure: belly button plastic surgery. "It's done with every tummy tuck," New-York-based board certified plastic surgeon Norman Rowe tells Allure. "However, performing it alone becomes more popular in the summer months when bikinis and crop tops are more prevalent."
The procedure involves the reshaping of the umbilicus (that's the belly button), Norman Rowe explains. Usually, umbilicoplasty is included in tummy tucks because that surgery involves so much skin removal that a new belly button has to be created. However, some people often seek out belly button surgery on its own because they have an unwanted outie or dislike their belly button's current shape. Others undergo the procedure to help tighten a belly button that wasstretched due to weight gain or pregnancy. Rowe says that people may also get belly button surgery "if they have a prior belly button piercing that got infected or a bad scar from a prior tummy tuck."
What's more, there's a specific belly button shape that belly button plastic surgery patients desire most. Joseph A. Russo, a board-certified plastic surgeon based in Newton, MA, tells Allure that an innie with a narrow vertical shape and a "hood" at the top is considered most aesthetically pleasing. A hood helps the belly button appear symmetrical and natural, according to Russo, who notes that his patients are "more concerned with a natural look than they ever have been." Rowe adds that a round belly button is more likely than a narrow, hooded one to reveal the umbilicoplasty scar.
When belly button surgery is done by itself, the only numbing needed is local anesthesia and can be done in the plastic surgeon's office in 30 to 45 minutes, with very minimal pain. "It's a fairly superficial procedure and usually involves incision around the umbilicus," Russo explains. "You're essentially doing more of a skin operation. You're not really going deep inside the belly." Recovery time is fairly quick: Russo says patients can resume exercise after two to three weeks. The procedure does come with some risks of infection, bleeding, and bruising, and there's always a chance that you end up "with a shape that isn't pleasing," Russo says. As for the cost, the procedure typically costs around $1,000. For a sneak peak at belly button surgery before-and-afters, check out the Instagram posts tagged #umbilicoplasty, but be warned: some are a little bit graphic.
This story originally appeared on Allure.
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