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Aesthetically Pleasant Umbilicoplasty

Pallua, Norbert MD, PhD; Markowicz, Marta P. MD; Grosse, Frederike MD; Walter, Stephanie MD

doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e3181ba5770
Aesthetic Surgery

The umbilicus is an important aesthetic feature of the abdomen and thus calls for an optimized reinsertation technique.

Localization and characteristics of the umbilicus were assessed in 137 adults. In addition, age, height, weight, pregnancy, and gender were recorded. Each participant reviewed his own photographs while the authors reviewed all of them. The categorization included a rating and an evaluation of the silhouette.

A vertical-configured umbilicus was the most frequently observed. Nevertheless, the score for oval shape was superior. Following a pregnancy, the navel became shorter and wider. Furthermore, the distances measured between the fixed bony points were larger in males and as BMI increased. The height of a person had no impact on the position or height of the umbilicus.

An oval-shaped umbilicus that is positioned at 2/3 of the distance from the pubis to the xiphisternum may lead to the most aesthetic results. Thus, the goal in umbilicoplasty is to obtain this configuration.

From the Department of Plastic Surgery, Hand Surgery—Burn Unit, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.

Received March 29, 2009, and accepted for publication, after revision, August 2, 2009.

N.P. and M.P.M. are first authors.

Reprints: Norbert Pallua, MD, PhD, Department of Plastic Surgery, Hand and Burns Clinic RWTH Aachen University, Pauwelsstrasse 30, 52057 Aachen, Germany. E-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.