Created by the hand of God?

In terms of his body, the singular thing that should separate Adam (as in the myth of “Adam and Eve”) from all other humans is that he doesn’t have a navel, seeing as he was sculpted out of mud rather than being birthed of a woman. A navel of course is the scar that remains from the severed umbilical cord, proof of mammalian birth, something that every human other than the first man, created by the hand of god in his own image, bears. This makes the navel removal procedure interesting to me — metaphorically it disconnects a person from their “long chain of biological reproduction”, turns them into a being sculpted not by biology, but by “the hand of god”. In this case, the hand of god could be the body modification practitioner, or even the person themselves, so I really appreciate what the procedure says — that we are our own gods, dictating our own fates and morphology.

Of course, some people just like the way it looks, and I don’t want to attach meaning to other people’s mods — I just really enjoy the musing one can do about this rare piece of body art. There are of course many other tales and motivations one could attach to it (for example, “f* you mom!”), like any other procedure.


Above is a navel removal — click to enlarge — done by Samppa Von Cyborg (, one of the only people I’d trust to do this advanced procedure. The left photo shows it at two months into healing, and on the right side it’s at eleven months. Down the middle you can see photos from a navel removal procedure (on a different person, but the procedure is the same). As you can see, the basic steps are skinning the navel down to its base and then closing it with a combination of internal and external sutures. I think it’s very important to note that as “easy” as that may seen, this is an extremely difficult procedure. On an aesthetic level, it takes a profound knowledge of the way the body heals and the anatomy — an understanding of the navel’s structure and a detailed knowledge of the way the collagen fibers run so they can be appropriately bonded, plus the ability to apply that understanding the the significant difference from person to person — to do this procedure inside an acceptable margin of safety.

Without that knowledge the procedure will almost certainly simply replace the original “navel scar” with a different sort of scar, to say nothing of the health risk. The APP has in the past warned that “outie” navels should not be done because an infection could travel inward along the old scar to the liver (which the umbilical cord once attached to). I don’t share that analysis, but I do agree that an infection trapped inside a navel removal, perhaps due to incomplete excision of tissue (for example a hair follicle) or any number of potential mistakes, could easily become life threatening.

Grace’s Navel Removal

Grace had always thought of getting her bellybutton removed, but never thought it was possible short of going to a doctor — which she wasn’t about to do because she thought that a doctor wouldn’t have the requisite artistic vision. She also assumed a mod artist wouldn’t have the requisite skills — until she met Howie (, who she’d originally gone to for ear pointing when he was guesting at Divine Canvas. Unfortunately she only had enough $$$ for one ear, so they sat down and chatted about other options — face cutting, subdermal implants, and so on… after a moment of silence she started lifting her top.

Before Howie had the chance to explain he wasn’t into trading sex for mods, she pointed at her navel and said, “can you get rid of this?”

After a bit of assessing her anatomy, the depth of her navel, and so on, he felt he could do it well. The procedure went quite quickly and with minimal trauma, and the healing was easy — just a little itching from the stitches. It’s now Grace’s favorite mod of all the ones she has, although it has stiff competition from the face cutting that Howie added to her collection a few months later. Oh and if you’re curious, click here for a before photo.


Guess What?

Over the weekend I had a couple of people request a new Guess What post, so you ask, and I deliver.  This one is pretty straightforward.  Where did this chunk of flesh come from?

No hints.  You’re going to have to guess.  I will tell you that it isn’t a fortune cookie.

Think you know?  Well there’s only one way to find out if you’re right…

And there you have it.  That big chunk of tissue is what was removed during a navel removal by Samppa Von Cyborg.  Samppa’s US tour is still going strong, and he’ll be in LA until the 16th of May, when he’ll move on to Arizona until the end of the month.  After that he’ll be heading up to Las Vegas until the end of the tour on June 10th.  He still has spot available, so if you’d like to get something done, send him an e-mail at [email protected].

In addition, Samppa and Steve Haworth will also be holding seminars in Phoenix and Las Vegas.  Head on over to Steve’s website to get all the details.

Oh, and it should be noted that the vertical scar was there prior to the navel removal.

Navel Removal

Take a close look at this photo and you’ll notice the total lack of a navel. It hasn’t been Photoshopped out — it’s been surgically removed… As will probably come as no surprise, this is via the always cutting edge Emilio Gonzalez of Venezuela, currently opening a new studio in Belgium.


As well as via IAM and Mithos Tattoo, you can contact him at [email protected] if you’re looking to have work done.