Now that Kim Kardashian West is back on social media, not only do we get to see more adorable shots of North and Saint, but we also get to see all of the different beauty treatments she indulges in.
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This past weekend, courtesy of her Snapchat story, we saw that she was “lasering her belly button.”
“Anyone that’s had babies understands what it does to your belly button afterwards and how much your belly button changes,” she explained over Snapchat. She continued to mention that she wanted to tighten it “so it looks normal. But what exactly is this belly button treatment, what does it do and how safe is it?
As Kardashian West mentioned, women may see a difference in their belly buttons after they have babies. This change includes a shift in shape and appearance. “The skin and architecture of the belly button can become quite distorted as the tissues of the abdomen, including the skin and muscle layers, become stretched during pregnancy to accommodate the growing uterus,” explains Miami plastic surgeon Sean Simon, MD.
The way the reality star chose to fix this? “It appears the laser was a resurfacing laser used to resurface the belly button skin and maybe even tighten the tissue to a small degree,” Las Vegas plastic surgeon Mike Edwards, MD, explains. However, he further clarifies that this is not a common practice. “Performed properly there is a mild chance of an improved result, but I do not feel this is something that will provide great benefit to the average patient.”
Dr. Simon also expressed concern when using this procedure for this type of problem. “The main issues would be of course first, efficacy as this will not repair the typical changes damage associated with the average pregnancy,” he explains. “It is more often used for skin rejuvenation but would not do anything to loose or distorted skin of a post-pregnancy abdomen and belly button.”
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Another risk when using a laser is pigment issues. “Any laser resurfacing procedure has the potential to cause hyper or hypopigmentation,” says Dr. Simon. “Therefore the operator needs to be knowledgeable and skilled in these procedure in order to avoid these issues.”
This isn’t the only belly button distortion women may face after having a baby. Although it doesn’t seem like it was the issue Kardashian West was facing, new moms may also develop an “outie,” which is caused by a hernia. “It is not uncommon for women to form a hernia, essentially a hole in the abdominal muscle layer, in the area of the umbilicus,” explains Dr. Simon. “As this is an area of inherent weakness.” He further explains that on top of a change in its appearance, this could also be uncomfortable for the new mom. This isn’t something that would be fixed through a laser but would likely be done though an abdominoplasty or a tummy tuck Dr. Simon explains.
While laser resurfacing treatment may not be the way to do it, there’s no shame in wanting to tighten up and improve your belly button after you’ve had babies. Just be sure to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon. Dr. Simon explains that it is typically non-surgeons who are recommending these laser or noninvasive “miracle procedures.”
Though Kardashian West typically serves as the forefront of beauty trends to come, it seems like this is one treatment we should let go.