Absent navel
More information about selected concern

Absent navel

The navel is the center of the abdomen. It is formed when the umbilical cord is cut and tied after childbirth. An absent navel or no belly button may be due to a congenital defect, surgical removal, or injury. If you are a person without a belly button, you should know that there are usually no health consequences. However, you may want to consult with a plastic surgeon to create the appearance of a belly button.

Some people are born without a navel or belly button. This congenital defect is called an omphalocele. In an omphalocele, the intestines and other abdominal organs stick out through the navel. This condition is usually diagnosed at birth. It can be treated with surgery. If you have an absent navel due to surgery, the navel can usually be surgically recreated. 

Symptoms of absent navel

There are usually no symptoms associated with an absent navel. However, you may notice that your abdomen looks different. You may also have a scar if your navel has been removed due to surgery.

An absent navel can also be a cosmetic concern. A man without belly button may have difficulty finding clothes that fit properly. If you are not happy with the appearance of your belly button, you may want to consult with a plastic surgeon. 

Causes of absent navel

Some people may have their navel surgically removed. This is often done as part of a tummy tuck or hernia surgery. If the navel has been removed, it can usually be surgically recreated. Some surgical procedures that may involve removing your belly button are as follows:

  • Umbilical hernia repair:  This surgery is done to repair a hernia that has occurred near the navel. The hernia may be caused by a weak spot in the abdominal wall. The surgery involves making an incision in the abdomen and stitching the hernia back into place. The belly button may be removed or relocated during this surgery.
  • Laparotomy: This is a surgery that is done to examine the organs inside the abdomen. It is often done to diagnose or treat a variety of conditions. The belly button may be removed during this surgery.
  • Tummy tuck: This surgery is done to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen. It is often done after weight loss or pregnancy. The belly button is usually removed and then relocated during this surgery.
  • Some breast reconstruction procedures: This surgery is done to reconstruct the breasts after a mastectomy. The belly button may be removed during this surgery.

In some cases, the navel may be absent due to an injury. This could be a result of a car accident or other traumatic event. If the navel is injured, it may need to be surgically removed. The belly button removal side effects are usually temporary and will resolve on their own. However, if the navel is removed, it will not grow back. 

What are the treatment options for absent navel?

Navel creation surgery is typically done under general anesthesia, which means that the patient will be asleep during the procedure. The surgeon will make an incision in the lower abdomen, and then carefully stitch the hernia back into place. In some cases, a piece of mesh may be used to reinforce the repair. 

Once the surgery is complete, the incision will be closed with stitches or staples. The patient will then be taken to a recovery room where they will be closely monitored. This type of surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis, and the recovery time is relatively short. 

After the surgery, the patient will likely experience some pain and swelling in the surgical area. These symptoms are normal and will gradually improve over time. The patient will be given pain medication to help manage any discomfort. 

Suggested/Recommended treatments