Belly Button Surgery Before and After

March 16, 2012

Having a nicely shaped belly button can really improve the overall look of your abdomen. The shape of your belly button is determined after birth when the placenta is cut away, leaving a scar (the navel) on your belly. Getting a nice belly button is really luck of the draw. Some people are born with an ‘innie’, which essentially looks like a well, with no skin inside the border protruding out. Others are the opposite and have an ‘outtie’ which can look quite disgusting (see for example, Kelly Ripa’s navel).  In between is the coffee bean navel which is very sexy, with a shallow oval ‘innie’ and two small protrusions.

Other than navel surgery, those who are unhappy with their belly button can try to decorate it with a ring or some dangling jewelry. Unfortunately, this may not save some “outties” or navels which are deformed. Where surgery is the only way to beautify the navel, you’ll be happy to know that umbilicoplasty is a scarless procedure. This way, no one will know you’ve had your belly button reshaped. Additionally, if you’re struggling with some abdomen bulging or fat or if you have sagging skin in this area, then you may want to combine the surgery with a tummy tuck or liposuction. Plastic surgery can give you that beach perfect body and you’ll be proud to wear your bikinis in public again.

Before and after photos

Before and After Photo: Belly Button Surgery #1

Photo #1

Vanessa from Chicago, Illinois has had a slightly deformed belly button (naval) from birth and was slightly insecure enough about it want to get it fixed. A quick visit to a plastic surgeon later showed there is very little risk and wasn’t too pricey so she went ahead with it and had it done. The after photo was taken several week later.

Causes of ugly belly buttons

After a baby is born, the umbilical cord (which connects the infant to the mother’s for oxygen and nutrients) needs to be separated. This is done by clamping it off an inch away from the baby’s tummy and cutting the cord just after the clamp. At first the left over cable is clear then it turns black and yellow and finally falls off by itself after a few weeks. It’s not an overly pleasant experience to think about. Only after this excess skin drops off will you be able to tell if your child has an innie or outie. As for which one, is broadly a matter of mystery.

There’s no method of cutting or clamping which can secure a certain navel shape. Everyone’s different in this respect and therefore we all have equal chances of inheriting a beautiful one. About 90% of people are born with an innie (where the inner skin is concave). Outies are rarer. Some sources state that the protruding skin of an outie is caused by umbilical hernias. This condition is not serious and most hernia defects heal quickly as the abdominal muscles grow. If the skin is protuberant, this is considered to be unattractive. If the condition is mild, then most people are willing to live with it. Where the skin bulges out to the point where it looks like you have a creature living inside you, then yes, it can be unsightly and most will consider plastic surgery.

Before treatment

If you think you’ve been unlucky in the navel department, then you may have considered surgery at one state. The fact is, before you dive into making a decision, you should know there are factors which can affect the appearance of your belly button. For example, if you are overweight, then your navel will look much different when you shed some pounds. Unfortunately, this is not the case with outies, since the skin will stick out no matter how thin or fat you are.

With innies, you can hide mild deformities behind a belly ring or perhaps even use cosmetic tattoo for some beautification. Where lumps and bulges are concerned, you may have no other choice than to accept it or have surgical enhancement. If you are still young (in your teenage years) you probably find that wearing low cut bottoms and a midriff is sexy. This kind of exposure falls in and out of fashion all the time. Once you reach your thirties, most women change their stance on exposing this region of the body. So, if you’re not the type to flaunt your abdomen then is it really worth surgical intervention? On the other hand, if you live in bikinis and midriff tops, then nothing your parents say will probably convince you otherwise.

More belly button surgery before and after photos >>>>

There are no exercises you can do to alter your navel’s shape. However, staying slim and perhaps even getting a six pack can take away some of the attention from your navel. Also, you can’t really hide the distortion by wearing high pants or skirts and only exposing the upper part of your midriff. This would just look funny without a top to match.

Risks, complications & side effects

Unlike abdominoplasty, surgery to alter the size or shape of the navel is much less invasive and hence there are fewer things which can go wrong. It is surgery after all and there’s always bound to be risks involved. Aesthetically, you can end up thwarted with a skewed or wonky belly button. If this happens, you’ll need revision surgery to correct the results.

Since the belly button itself is essentially a scar, you can hide the scarring of the operation within this mark. You will rarely notice patient’s scarring after navel surgery, so you’ll be able to flaunt your new body without anyone realizing you’ve had a touch up. Your friends might notice the change if you’ve previously alerted them about your being unsatisfied and showcased the irregularity.

During and after the surgery, you are susceptible to infection, excess blood or fluid, numbness in the area and reaction to anesthesia. These complications are rare with navel surgery. After you come out of the surgery, you should be careful in moving or stretching your abdomen. Avoid doing any sit ups or backward stretches. Over stretching can cause the scars to widen and thicken. Don’t worry, your belly button won’t pop open but don’t do anything too strenuous to avoid the risk another operation.

Recovery time

Most patients are released from hospital a few hours after the surgeon has completed the operation. You shouldn’t be experiencing too much soreness. There will be bruising and swelling, however this should dissipate quickly. Also, I wouldn’t be booking any navel piercings for a few weeks following your procedure. This can add more pain, obscure the results and even cause an infection. Wearing high waisted jeans or tight clothing may also agitate the wound while it’s healing.

To recover fully, you will typically need a week or two. You won’t be bed bound for this entire period. Light duties can typically be resumed the next day. So you may not even need time off work to recovery if you have a sedentary job. If you’re a belly dancer or gymnast on the other hand, you will most likely need at least a week from working or training.

After surgery

Once you’ve made the decision to alter your navel, it won’t be long before you can boast it freely. You may want to have it done just before summer begins. This way, you won’t be out of action during the swimming season and people will be less likely to notice the change. They may have forgotten about your unusual belly button from last year, so it’s a perfect opportunity to start anew.

After the area has fully healed, you will be amazed how it’s changed the look of your overall torso. Once you put one those hipster jeans, skirt or even some nice lingerie, you will just want to keep staring in the mirror. You may end up loving your navel so much, that you’ll just want to keep your belly flat all the time. It’s may be another incentive for maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regime.

Many women are worried about the effect of having belly button surgery affecting their chances of pregnancy or the navel returning to its outie position once that big tummy comes along. This won’t happen and it shouldn’t be a concern. However, always speak with your surgeon as to whether it may be best for the surgery to be done before or after your pregnancy.


The price will depend on how deformed your belly button is prior to the surgery. The surgeon fees can range between $1,600 and $4,500. In addition, you will need to pay for anesthesia and operating room fees.


I was never happy with the way my belly button looked. I got my surgery done at 17 with my parents agreeing to pay for the cost. It was really nice of them because they knew how much it upset me. I was always too shy to take off my clothes for swimming and with my outie navel, I was just miserable when it came to beach time. The surgeon did a really great job and I’m glad to have it done. I didn’t feel much pain after the operation, just some bruising and my abdomen was swollen a little. I’ve now had it pierced and wear gold jewelry. It’s just beautiful.

Submitted by Ange on April 20, 2012

YouTube video

In this YouTube video Dr Matthew Schulman (Board Certified Plastic Surgeon) explains the options with belly button surgery. He can convert an ‘outtie’ into an ‘innie’, make a large belly button smaller and correct deformities.

More before and after photos

Before and After Photo: Belly Button Surgery #2

Photo #2

Claire from Queensland, Australia was born with an excessively deformed naval and was scared to have surgery because it was so deformed. Once she built up confidence after a consultation with an aesthetic surgeon she was convinced and started saving up for the operation. There was very little downtime and the end result was good, effectively giving her an innie. The after photo was taken several weeks following surgery.

Before and After Photo: Belly Button Surgery #3

Photo #3

Benita from Los Angeles, California is a sports model and had a feeling her belly button was letting her down in model photos. She convinced her husband to allow her to have surgery. The operation was simple and produced outstanding results that Benita was very proud of. Her partner says it was a great idea and now she isn’t so insecure about her ab area.

Before and After Photo: Belly Button Surgery #4

Photo #4

Allyson from Sydney, Australia thought her naval looked abnormal and insisted on cosmetic surgery.

Photo #5

Serena from Michigan, USA had a drooping belly button and wished to have it corrected with minor surgery she say on television. Her surgeon showed her several before and after photos that had her convinced wanting to push with the procedure. She loves her new belly button and says it’s made her body complete. The after image was taken several weeks following surgery after the tiny scar healed.

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