Researchers define the aesthetic characteristics of a beautiful bellybutton

Umbilicoplasty, or the use of surgical procedures to in some way alter the appearance of a patient’s belly button, is commonly performed as a part tummy tuck procedures, but can also be performed absent of any accompanying surgery.  Umbilicoplasty allows patients to put aside self consciousness in the appearance of their belly button and to be able to start wearing bikinis, low rider jeans, and other clothing that accentuates the stomach.  While a majority of umbilicoplasty surgeries are performed on women, an increasingly larger percentage are now performed on men as well.
The tiniest of details often set apart merely an acceptable result from one that is truly extraordinary. Researchers in Singapore sought to find specific, definable aesthetic characteristics for reconstructing the umbilicus for patients undergoing abdominoplasty or lipoabdominoplasty. Shu Jin Lee, MD, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, and colleagues analyzed these aesthetics in their paper “Comuputer-Aided Analysis of the ‘Beautiful’ Umbilicus,” published in this month’s issue of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal.
In the study, they used software they developed, called the Aesthetic Analyzer, to assess the vertical and horizontal positions, length and shape of 37 Playboy playmate bellybuttons. Based on their results, they report the “beautiful” umbilicus has these parameters:

  • Vertical ratio (xiphoid process-lower limit of the pudendal cleft) of 46:54
  • Midline horizontal position
  • Length equaling 5% of that of the xiphoid process to the lower limit of the pudendal cleft
  • Oval shape
  • No hooding (29.8%) or superior hooding (21.6%)

Tummy Tucks and Belly Buttons

The appearance of a patient’s belly button can sometimes be significantly altered when they undergo a surgical procedure such as a tummy tuck.  A large belly button might have blended in perfectly with a larger overall tummy, but such may not be the case after sculpting has occurred.  When a tummy tuck is performed and excess fat is eradicated and skin is pulled back to create a more sleek appearance, the belly button can become more pronounced.  Many surgeons anticipate this occurrence and arrange to include a belly button revision as a normal part of all stomach sculpting procedures.  If a mismatch of belly buttons and tummy shapes is not noted until after the fact, an umbilicoplasty can then be performed with relative ease to match the size and shape of belly button to stomach.
The authors conclude that these parameters can help in planning the “ideal position, shape, and size of the umbilicus [and] can be useful for achieving successful reconstruction of the umbilicus during abdominoplasty and lipoabdominoplasty.”

This News Brought to You Courtesy of Dr. Bishara and The Paragon Plastic Surgery & Med Spa