Breast implants and liposuction are the traditional ways to create a new you. But this year a new body part went under the knife: the navel. Last spring plastic surgeons began reporting a curious spike in the number of women requesting navel reconstruction — or ”umbilicoplasty,” as the pros call it. Sometimes it was part of a tummy tuck; sometimes the tummy was fine, but the navel rankled. ”I get about three or five inquiries a week now,” says Jim Romano, a San Francisco surgeon who performs the outpatient procedure for about $3,500. Calls have ”gone way up, with all the midriffs showing.”
Hidden for decades, the navel is now the center of what’s considered sexy, flaunted in a wave of stomach-baring outfits and above-the-fold news articles pondering Britney Spears’s bellybutton. According to a study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings in January, about a third of college women now have pierced navels. More here.