Belly Button Surgery

Latest update: April 19, 2024
Medically reviewed by: Jordan Frey MD


Belly button surgery is also known as umbilicoplasty. This surgical procedure can lift the belly button and change the navel's shape, size, and position. Candidates for this surgery wish to restore and reshape their belly buttons after pregnancy, significant weight loss, or piercing damage.

Umbilicoplasty can create the desired navel by reshaping a protruding belly button and pushing it in by removing excess skin. In some cases where patients who had previous  umbilicoplasty are not satisfied with the results, they can opt for reconstruction surgery that uses the surrounding skin to reconstruct the navel. Surgeons often combine belly button surgery with a tummy tuck to complete the overall look of the abdomen.

Umbilicoplasty can be performed for cosmetic reasons and to fix medical complications. It can help to alleviate pain and discomfort caused by an umbilical hernia.

Umbilicoplasty is popular among women who have had children as pregnancy can have a lasting impact on the shape and size of the naval. 

The belly button stretches out as the belly increases in size, but it shrinks and protrudes after pregnancy. A belly button surgery can return the navel to its original shape. It will not, however, remove any excess skin or fat in the belly area, as with a tummy tuck of abdominoplasty procedure.

Belly button surgery can also help to fix damage caused by piercings. In these cases, scars are usually formed from an old or rejected piercing. The procedure can remove the scar, but patients may also need a scar revision procedure or even topical treatments depending on its position.

Umbilicoplasty is usually performed in a clinic or a hospital. It requires local or general anesthetic, depending on the severity of the case. 

The surgeon will first remove any excess skin around the navel and then reconstruct the shape of the belly button. The newly shaped navel will then be stitched up and a surgical dressing applied. The procedure is relatively simple and takes less than an hour to complete. While patients can go home on the same day, they may experience some swelling and discomfort. Doctors recommend waiting a couple of weeks before returning to a regular workout routine.

Patients will be able to go back to work after a day or two. Recovery is quick, and non-dissolvable stitches will be removed after 7-10 days. 
Operation Time
Inpatient Period
Number of Appointments
Recovery Period
7-10 days

Cosmetic Belly Button Surgery - Dr. Matthew Schulman, MD

Dr. Matthew Schulman, a plastic surgeon in New York City, talks us through the procedures involved with cosmetic belly button surgery. He explains that, for those who don't like the way their belly button looks, there is a way to change that. He runs through the steps based on what is considered to be the defect. He explains some of the reasons why belly buttons look the way they do.

How Can I Fix My Bellybutton - Bellybutton Repair Consultation - Dr. Anthony Youn

Dr. Anthony Youn, a plastic surgeon in Troy, Michigan, talks about "Belly Button Issues". He covers two common issues; the outie belly button (umbilical hernia) and excess skin above the belly button. In each case, he talks about the reasons for the defect. He explains the corrective procedures for each issue.