Hello! Thank you for your question! After any surgical procedure, you should be careful with incisions as well as avoidance of direct UVA and UVB rays in order to lessen the chance for hyperpigmentation of the skin and scars, which can take several months to resolve, if it ever does. Sunblock is recommended regardless. The ability of the affected area to heal has been slowed and you should try to avoid additional swelling to the area. The area will likely be numb for several weeks to months and will be difficult to feel when sunburn is coming on.
Typical recommendations include wearing a hat and/or sunblock to the affected area for at least 6-12 weeks following the procedure. It takes up to one year for scars to fully mature. You should also avoid trauma to the area for several months to protect the refinements made during the procedure. Also, avoidance of pools/lakes/jacuzzis/etc for 4-6 weeks is usually recommended to allow adequate healing and protection from stagnant water, that could potentially harbor bacteria. Lifting/exercise restrictions are common for at least 7 weeks. Certainly discuss the postoperative instructions with your surgeon, as thoughts differ among surgeons. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!
Like most things during your recovery, there are not typically absolute rules related to when certain activities can be restarted. Some surgeons will ask you to use your own body as a guide, avoiding those things that are especially painful until they are less so. Other surgeons will have a strict set of guidelines to follow. Some are in between. My suggestion would be to check with your surgeon. You have likely chosen him or her because there is some trust in your relationship and you surgeon would likely appreciate the opportunity to be your best resource for this type of question.
I recommend waiting 3 months to my patients. Wearing 50 plus SPF and covering the scar, helps. You can cover your navel with Band-Aid if you are worrying about bad scarring in that area.
Scars overall can take up to 2 years to fully settle down and direct sun light can irritate them.
I recommend not exposing scars to tanning for a year in an effort to minimize the risk of hyper pigmentation. A total block (zinc oxide) to the umbilical area might be helpful.