There’s an increasing amount of people looking to have the perfect belly button. A procedure called umbilicoplasty can achieve this. 

What is Umbilicoplasty?

Umbilicoplasty is also known as belly button surgery. It’s an operation that changes the appearance or shape of your belly button. The procedure can help repair the belly button after pregnancy, significant weight loss, or abdominal hernia. Typically, the operation is carried out alongside other surgeries, but it can be performed independently.

umbilicoplasty at The Harley Clinic, Harley Street

Umbilicoplasty: Quick Overview

umbilicoplasty at The Harley Clinic, Harley Street

Why Have Belly Button Surgery?

People are often self-conscious about their belly button. Whether it’s in swimwear or underwear, your naval is increasingly on show. If you have a belly button shape you don’t like from pregnancy, weight changes, or you naturally have an uneven naval shape, belly button surgery can both improve the appearance of your belly button and boost your confidence. An umbilical hernia can also cause you to have a prominent outie. This is something umbilicoplasty can also fix. 

How Does Umbilicoplasty Surgery Work?

The primary aim of belly button surgery is to create an innie belly button with an oval shape and a slightly hooded appearance. The surgery itself lasts between 1 to 4 hours, depending on how complex it is. 

During the procedure, your surgeon will make an incision deep within the belly button to make the scars less visible after the operation. At this point, any bulges or herniations will also be fixed. Excess fat and skin is removed to achieve a slim, oval-shaped ‘innie’ belly button. The skin is also repositioned to create a hooded effect within the belly button. After reshaping your belly button, all incisions will be closed. 

What Happens During Your Belly Button Surgery Consultation?

During your initial consultation, you will discuss your goals and health with your surgeon. They will take you through the entire procedure, any risks, and the expected outcome.  

What are the Benefits of Umbilicoplasty?

Umbilicoplasty can improve the shape and appearance of your belly button. If you feel very self-conscious or have damage from a hernia or pregnancy, you may benefit from the procedure. 

  • Overall the benefits of umbilicoplasty include:
  • Boost self-esteem and confidence
  • Turn an outward belly button to an ‘innie’
  • Correct issues from previous abdominal surgeries 
  • Improve the overall appearance of the abdomen 
Umbilicoplasty at The Harley Clinic

How Long Does it Take to Recover From Umbilicoplasty?

The recovery time for umbilicoplasty surgery can differ from case to case. This is because you may be having the procedure alongside something more extensive, like a tummy tuck. In general, the recovery period can be from 24 hours to 2 weeks. For a hernia repair, it would be more like 2 to 4 weeks of recovery. 

A simple belly button surgery may last up to two hours with only local anaesthetics used. But something more complex with general anaesthetics does take longer to recover after. It’s normal for patients to experience some swelling, bruising, and minor discomfort during the recovery period. Typically, you can expect to return to work and light activities between 1 and 3 days following your procedure. 

As there is a slight variation in the recovery period, your surgeon will create a recovery timeline based on your specific case for you to follow. 

What Should You Expect After Surgery?

You will be able to go home shortly after your surgery. Following the surgery, expect to feel some pain around the belly button and a light dressing on the area. You may also experience some muscle tightness in the abdomen. You should be able to shower after 1 day. After 1 week, you will visit your surgeon for a wound check to make sure everything is healing the way it should. Your surgeon will use dissolvable stitches to help minimise return visits specifically for stitch removal. 

What are the Scars Like Following Umbilicoplasty?

Usually, the incision heals very quickly and you are left with a scar that is concealed within your belly button. 

Can You Combine Belly Button Surgery With Other Procedures?

Belly button reshaping surgery can be performed on its own in a standalone procedure. But, it can also be combined with other procedures such as liposuction and a tummy tuck. Combining liposuction and umbilicoplasty is ideal for patients who have lost a lot of weight and want to improve the contours of the body. When you combine belly button surgery with a tummy tuck, you change the shape and location of the naval while strengthening the abdominal walls at the same time. 

Who is the Ideal Candidate for Umbilicoplasty?

The ideal candidate for umbilicoplasty surgery is in good physical health. They may dislike the appearance of their belly button. It could have stretched during pregnancy, or perhaps they have excess skin or a problem with the size or shape. Either way, if you feel self-conscious about your belly button and want to feel more confident when wearing clothes that show off your midriff, then you are an ideal candidate for umbilicoplasty surgery. 

Who is Not Suitable for Umbilicoplasty Surgery?

The following patients may not be suitable for belly button surgery:

  • Pregnant women 
  • Obese individuals 
  • Patients on blood-thinning medications
  • Patients with severe lung disease or excessive scar tissue from a previous abdominal surgery 

What are the Potential Risks and Side Effects of Umbilicoplasty?

There are potential risks associated with all surgeries. Risks and side effects of umbilicoplasty include: 

  • Anaesthesia risks 
  • Infection 
  • Numbness 
  • Bleeding scar tissue
  • Return of hernia 
  • Fluid in abdomen muscles 


If you don’t like the way your belly button looks or have any issues related to your belly button, this procedure may be right for you. Umbilicoplasty may help to improve the appearance of your abdomen and boost your confidence. 


To book a consultation today, please call 0203 582 4947 or email [email protected].