PATIENT RESOURCES / DR’s Blog

I often see patients who are unhappy with the appearance of their belly button post-pregnancy. During and post-pregnancy, the belly button’s appearance can be altered due to an umbilical hernia or stretched skin that overhangs the belly button. The best way to correct this is to fix the cause of the problem: either repairing the hernia or removing loose skin with a tummy tuck or mini-tummy tuck

The most obvious sign that someone has had a tummy tuckis an unattractive belly button. The importance of a nice belly button is often overlooked. My goal in tummy tuck surgery is to allow someone to walk along a beach in a bikini without a stranger knowing they had surgery. This requires a low scar that hides under the bikini and a natural looking belly button with no visible scars. An ideal belly button is not too large or too small, has a natural flow into it from below, has slight hooding on the top portion and is oval in shape. It takes additional time in surgery to create this, but it is one of the most important considerations to me as a surgeon.

What can potentially happen to a belly button during and post-pregnancy?

Two things can happen to alter the appearance of the belly button during pregnancy. One is an umbilical hernia. The contents of the abdomen are pushed into the belly button making it protrude and look wider. Women often complain that it looks like their “innie became an outie”.

The other real change is to the tissue around the belly button. The umbilical base is fairly fixed. After pregnancy, the skin and fat which had been stretched for a long time then hangs over the belly button, giving it a widened and deepened appearance. In this case, the belly button hasn’t changed but its appearance still has.

Under what circumstances or time frame can a woman get the surgery?

It is never a good idea to have surgery for cosmetic reasons at the time of birth or right after. That is a time to focus on recovering and enjoying your baby. Also, the uterus, skin and fat are all undergoing changes for several months after. The uterus will shrink down and the skin will tighten up as this happens. Many women also experience a lot of weight loss during this time. It is always best to perform cosmetic procedures when your weight is stable for several months.

What other reasons are there for someone wanting to receive umbilicoplasty besides pregnancy?

Distortion from an umbilical hernia. Other causes of distortion or scarring such as piercings, laparoscopic surgery, or open surgery loss of a belly button following intra-abdominal surgery, requiring a complete belly button reconstruction, and finally, a cosmetic revision to make a tummy tuck look more natural.

How is an umbilicoplasty performed?

It really depends on the reason for the surgery. Hernia repairs are not considered a cosmetic procedure and are usually done by a general surgeon; typically under general anaesthesia. They make an incision next to the belly button and cut the base of the belly button where it connects to the muscle layer. They then push the contents back into the belly and repair it with sutures or a mesh. This usually makes the appearance look much nicer, but the main goal is to prevent that protruding tissue from losing blood supply. What is important for people to understand is that this procedure will alter the plastic surgeon’s abdominoplasty technique. For patients that have an umbilical hernia but also want a tummy tuck, they should consider having both done at the same time. If they have already had a repair, they should be certain to let their plastic surgeon know or there can be a risk of losing the belly button altogether.

For most other umbilical procedures, they can simply be done under local anaesthetic, with the plastic surgeon correcting things as needed. Some stitches will be used, which will be removed in about a week.

What are the risks and benefits of an umbilicoplasty?

Any time you operate there are risks of bleeding, infection, and poor wound healing. Specific to the belly button, there could be a recurrence of the problem (especially the hernia), a thickened scar, or a scar that contracts causing the belly button to become too small.

Hernia repairs improve cosmetic appearance, but also minimize the risk that the tissue which was protruding loses its blood supply, which would necessitate urgent surgery. For all other procedures, the main benefit is cosmetic enhancement.

What is the recovery time?

Aside from the hernia repair, this is minimal surgery with limited discomfort and virtually no downtime. Often sutures will be placed that need to be removed approximately one week following surgery.

What can the patient expect long term?

The results for cosmetic surgery of the belly button are typically permanent. If someone were to put on or lose a lot of weight, it could alter the appearance again.

To book a consultation with Dr Shortt, visit drshortt.com or telephone 905-849-4282.

As seen in the online publication Deep Body: deepbody.ca/umbilicoplasty/

Testimonials

Absolutely hands down the best!

Absolutely hands down the best! Dr Shortt is very skilled surgeon and has a warm, caring personality along with a sense of humour which will keep you at ease throughout the whole process. You are in the best hands should you choose Dr. Shortt. Thank you Dr Shortt and Joanne for making my surgical journey a great experience!

It’s Been 28 Years …

I was reviewing breast transfer procedures on real self. Dr. Shorrt had comment on a previous post. I checked out his profile/website and decided to go for a consultation. I was glad that he actually conducted the consultation. I’ve been to one where the Dr.’s assistant did the initial one. He was very easy to talk , to express your concerns. He was very knowledge. Some doctors are in rush to explain things. “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression” . I felt very comfortable right away. I knew I wanted him to be my surgeon.

All in all I can not say enough good things about my experience with both Dr. Shortt and his staff

Dr Short t was my surgeon for breast reduction, tummy tuck, bra-line back lift and panniculectomy. I was at ease upon our first meeting. I felt he genuinely was on my side and interested in my well being. Although the surgeries I have undergone have been major , the pain was surprisingly minor. I have had excellent recoveries and shockingly minimal scaring. I could not be more satisfied with having been his patient. I did some research about plastic surgery and costs were in line with others. All in all I can not say enough good things about my experience with both Dr. Shortt and his staff

Thankful for High Standards

I had lost an excessive amount of weight. After success in living a healthier lifestyle I found that the extra skin impacted my health in other ways. Dr Short completed a Belt Lipectomy.
My experience through the consultation visits and pre and post surgery was very positive!
Dr. Shortt was detailed with my questions leaving nothing to my imagination, defining the realities I would experience throughout the process. He was specific through the preparatory work that needed to happen and made me feel connected and comfortable with the procedure.
Dr. Shortt is professional, extremely knowledgeable as a plastic surgeon, and has the ability to communicate to people with clarity during each appointment!
I have also appreciated the office environment and connections with Joanne as she answered my questions with efficiency and genuine care.
Dr. Shortt is highly skilled in what he does, and he has the character of caring and valuing as he speaks with you. Dr. Shortt wants great results for each person and sets a very high standard, in which I am grateful!
I am really happy with the whole process from start to finish and excited about the outcome of having this surgery!
Thank you Dr. Shortt!

I had a bump on my thumb removed by Dr Shortt a few years ago.

I had a bump on my thumb removed by Dr Shortt a few years ago. It was e third time I’d had it removed, as it kept growing back, but since Dr Shortt removed it, it hasn’t returned!

I’m very pleased with the results of my explant surgery.

Dr Shortt was recommended to me for my explant surgery. I was informed he was the best surgeon for the job and that I would be very happy with the results.
We met on a couple of occasions before the surgery and discussed the options of new implants, fat grafting or just an explant. He was courteous, respectful and very knowledgeable.
He respected my decision to just have the explant surgery and didn’t try to sell me on other procedures. He is all about what’s best for his patients. When I had my pre-op at the hospital, the intake nurse couldn’t say enough wonderful things about him and his skills. That solidified it for me.
I’m very pleased with the results of my explant surgery. It was a unique case in that the implants had completely liquified. They were done 8 years ago by another recommended surgeon in Burlington, not Dr Shortt himself. It seems they were just defective.
Dr. Shortt noted that he had never seen any implants come out in that condition. I appreciate that he is following up with the manufacturer to inform them of the situation.
if you are choosing implants, please do your research and educate yourself and if you choose to have them done, Dr. Shortt is your guy.

Dr. Shortt is a true professional, with an amazing bedside manner.

Recently I had Dr Shortt remove a large lump from the back of my leg. His genuinely friendly manner immediately put me at ease.
In the hospital, he explained how the procedure was going to work, which made me feel comfortable. The actual procedure took less than 5 minutes, with no pain. I was completely relaxed, knowing I was in good hands. Dr. Shortt is a true professional, with an amazing bedside manner. I’d trust him to do absolutely any surgical procedure and would feel confident that the outcome would be very successful.

Feel and look better than ever before.


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