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What is a Belly Button Revision?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Umbilicoplasty, usually known by the more friendly title of belly button revision, is a surgery which is designed to alter the shape of the navel. The surgery may be undertaken for a number of reasons, and it can be bundled in with other cosmetic surgeries or done as an entirely separate procedure. Many plastic surgeons offer belly button revision as part of their services, or are able to refer patients to a surgeon who does the surgery.

The navel, or belly button, is formed during pregnancy, and the shape is determined in the days shortly after birth, when the umbilical cord dries up and eventually falls off. Dramatic weight changes, pregnancy, and hernias can alter the shape of someone's belly button. People feel uncomfortable with their navels for a variety of reasons. Some people with minimal belly buttons or outies wish that they had more distinctive “innie” belly buttons, while other people dislike the shape of the navel.

If a patient decides on belly button revision as a solution to the problem, a meeting with the surgeon will determine how the belly button should look after surgery. The surgery is very brief, and usually performed with the use of a local anesthetic, or conscious sedation by request of the patient. The surgeon alters the shape of the belly button, takes a few stitches, and the procedure is complete. Recovery time is fairly rapid as long as the site is kept clean, and minimal swelling and soreness are associated with belly button revision.

Like any surgical procedure, there are some risks to belly button revision. If the undesirable shape is being caused by a hernia, for example, the surgeon may need to perform a more invasive surgery to correct the hernia. It is also possible for infection to set in at the belly button revision site, or for a patient to need additional surgery. A qualified physician will disclose risks of the surgery, along with his or her failure rate.

A belly button revision can also be included in a tummy tuck, breast augmentation, or similar procedure. During a tummy tuck, a belly button revision is usually included automatically, since the shape of the abdomen will have changed dramatically. With other procedures, a belly button revision can be added by request, usually for a small additional fee. As with all cosmetic surgeries, ensure that a physician is board certified before committing to a procedure, and ask to see the surgeon's portfolio.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By anon336403 — On May 28, 2013

Are any of you women who have had children had their stomachs deformed after giving birth? I'd like to know the answer to that.

By anon43574 — On Aug 30, 2009

Oh take your preaching somewhere else.

It's plastic surgery. Is there usually a medical reason for it? No, it's to help people feel better about themselves.

By anon27689 — On Mar 04, 2009


Perhaps. But remember that "money" is essentially worthless in and of itself, and is only a tool.

Few undertake plastic surgery for "no reason."

As for the millions of dying and doomed--medical service is pretty far down the list for things they need: clean water & enough food are a much better starting place.

Few of us "wealthy" Westerners live on the minimum we need to exist.

Our species, like any species, tends to breed ourselves until we run out of food--when the population crashes.

We neuter our pets, but over breed ourselves.

Life is all valuable, but human life is no more or less valuable than any other life. We do not have the innate right to shove other lifeforms aside for our own benefit--indeed, such actions in the long run may destroy us too.

If it bothers you, take a vow of poverty and send your money to one of the many aid organizations...

By anon27637 — On Mar 03, 2009

In a world where children are dying through lack of basic medical attention and hundreds of thousands of women contract life-shattering long term infections through unavailability of basically clean birthing environments, it's obscene that some people spend large amounts of money to change a minor part of their body for no real reason. They don't need surgery. They need to get a life and find out about the world.

By anon27614 — On Mar 03, 2009

Is there *any* medical reason to have this performed? Ridiculous.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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