People are nipping and tucking just about everything nowadays.
There’s been a huge surge in the plastic surgery in recent years, with men and women spending $16 billion to adjust their appearance in 2016 alone.
Now, plastic surgeons say umbilicoplasty, or belly button surgery, is the latest trend.
Speaking with Daily Mail Online, experts say more and more people are requesting navels like Emily Ratajkowski and Jessica Simpson.
Plastic surgeon Dr Matthew Schulman said many of his patients want a hooded, oval-shaped belly button like Emily Ratajkowski’s navel
Plastic surgeons said people are more likely to do something about their belly buttons right before the spring or summer season to get oval-shaped navels like Erin Heatherton, left, and Bella Hadid, right
Dr Schulman said many of his patients bring in photos of Jessica Simpson when she starred in the 2005 film The Dukes Of Hazzard
Dr Matthew Schulman, a board-certified plastic surgeon, said the number of belly button revisions he’s performed has doubled over the past five and six years.
He currently performs 12 to 15 of these procedures per month, and attributes this uptick to social media as well as people becoming increasingly aware that they can actually do something about their navels.
‘We’ve become a much more image-oriented society,’ Dr Schulman told Daily Mail Online. ‘People are more aware of their bodies on Instagram… and they understand now that there’s a way to make their belly button’s look better.’
According to RealSelf, there’s been a 12 percent increase in people asking for navel surgery in the US compared to last year. That number is even higher in the UK, with 21 percent more people expressing interest in umbilicoplasty compared to 2017.
The ideal belly button
Experts say people are more likely to do something about their belly button right before the spring or summer season.
‘The belly button is an important part of your anatomy from a cosmetic perspective,’ Dr Thomas Sperry, a board-certified plastic surgeon. told Daily Mail Online.
‘If you’re at the beach … and you got a bad belly button, it’s hard to look sexy,’ Dr Sperry added.
Dr Schulman said the ideal belly button is an oval that’s vertically-oriented because it makes the torso look longer and the abs leaner.
‘When it comes to belly buttons people would more often bring Victoria Secret catalogs,’ he said.
His patient’s have also brought in pictures of Jessica Simpson when she starred in the 2005 film The Dukes of Hazzard and model Emily Ratajkowski, who became a household name after starring in Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines music video in 2013.
Meanwhile, many of Dr Schulman’s patients have requested an innie belly button – a conclave navel – that’s slightly hooded similar to the one Victoria Secret model Erin Heartherton sports.
Dr David Shafer, a board certified plastic surgeon and RealSelf contributor, said that while belly buttons come in all shapes and sizes, an important factor is being ‘midline’ or centered.
‘Believe it or not, some patients belly buttons are off center and they look to have it centered,’ he told Daily Mail Online.
Why do people get a belly button revision?
Many patients come in to get their belly button piercing removed.
‘I call this the “Britney Spears effect”,’ Dr Schulman said. ‘All those people who got their belly buttons pierced in the 90s are now around 35 and their piercing looks funny’ due to weight gain or pregnancy.
Dr Schulman said many of his patients who got piercings in the 90s want them removed. He calls this the ‘Britney Spears effect’
The uptick in belly button revisions can also be attributed an increase in laparoscopic surgery, an abdominal or pelvic procedure performed through small incisions made around the belly button area, according to Dr Sperry.
Dr Sperry, who performs at least 20 umbilicoplasties a year, nearly double the amount who used to perform five years ago, told Daily Mail Online many of his patients have had their belly buttons altered from previous surgery on their abdomen, like appendicitis.
A number of patients come in because they’re unsatisfied with their outies or umbilical hernia, a condition where intestine, fat, or fluid pushes through a weak spot in the abdomen causing the belly button to stick out like a little knot.
How is the procedure performed?
Umbilicoplasties can be performed using local anesthesia to numb the belly button area, combined with a sedative to make the patient drowsy.
To turn an outie into an innie, Dr Schulman said he first makes a small incision around the rim of the belly button.
Then he repairs the hernia using internal stitches, then revises the skin of the belly button to make it look like an innie. He said children as young as 11 years
In order to remove a belly button piercing, Dr Schulman said he removes the skin ‘hood’ that develops along the top of the belly button.
People who experience navel changes due to weight gain or pregnancy may also need a tummy tuck.
‘We commonly do cosmetic repair on belly buttons when performing a tummy tuck,’ he said.
‘[Belly button revision] is an isolated cosmetic surgery that’s usually performed on patients who are usually younger,’ he said.
If someone is older and want a belly button revision, they may also need to have a tummy tuck too.
An umbilicoplasty will typically take up to 30 to 40 minutes and patients often feel no pain afterward and usually ‘require nothing more than a Tylenol.’
He had advise people who’ve had their hernia repaired to avoid heavy lifting or exercise for about a week.
Dr Shafer added that it takes a week or so for the swelling to resolve and any incision will take several weeks to months to heal.
‘We offer our patients post-operative laser treatments to help speed up healing and improve the appearance of the incisions,’ Dr Shafer told Daily Mail Online.
‘In many cases we can hide the incisions inside of the belly button,’ he added.