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Tummy Tuck Belly Button: Art of Aesthetics

Published by Dr. Brandon Richland, MD

Does the belly button get removed during a tummy tuck? The belly button remains in its original position while its surrounding skin is repositioned. The incision for the tummy tuck is typically made lower on the abdomen, and the skin is lifted from there.

Key Takeaways of Tummy Tuck Belly Button

  • The belly button isn’t necessarily removed but is adjusted and repositioned.
  • Before and after photos can help illustrate the significant weight loss and visible transformation of the belly button following surgery.
  • Postoperative recovery requires wearing an abdominal binder for 6 weeks, daily water cleansing, and avoiding strenuous activities until your doctor advises.
  • Signs of infection or complications include redness, pain, or excessive discharge around the navel area. Medical attention should be sought immediately at such times to avoid further issues.

What Happens to the Belly Button During a Tummy Tuck?

The belly button is typically kept in place during a tummy tuck, while the surrounding skin and muscles are tightened to present a more toned body.

The Involvement of the Belly Button in a Tummy Tuck

During a tummy tuck procedure, the belly button isn’t necessarily removed but is adjusted and repositioned. Excess skin is pulled downward and lifted, and thus forms a new opening for the belly button to be placed into.

The original position of the belly button stalk remains intact as it is detached from the surrounding skin that the surgery has reshaped. While healing may appear swollen, crusty, and bruised after recovery, it should settle in 6 months, while forming close to its natural shape again around or near its original placement area.

An incision needs to be made around the base of your existing navel to free up your old skin so that it can be replaced by new tissue. Having before and after pictures of what one’s belly button looks like following a tummy tuck procedure can also help illustrate how different their appearances are post op compared with pre surgery results.

Image Credit: Gorodenkoff / 123RF.com (Licensed).

How the Belly Button is Reshaped

During a tummy tuck procedure, the belly button is reshaped to create a more aesthetically pleasing abdomen. This involves retracting the excess skin and fat from around the edges of the navel and starting a new opening below it.

The skin is pulled down and removed while preserving as much of the natural anatomy as possible. The belly button stalk is placed through this new opening to maintain its position before being sutured securely at both ends.

The abdominal muscles are also tightened during this process for an improved contour across all abdomen areas. Once complete, patients can expect their original belly button to remain in place but with slight variations in looks, such as tightening or widening of its shape, compared to before surgery due to internal scar tissue formation.

There have been cases where the lower abdomen or belly button may appear smaller or disappear after undergoing a tummy tuck procedure, which can be addressed with surgical revision if needed.

The Preservation of the Belly Button Stalk

To ensure that the round face of the belly button is preserved, surgeons must take particular care to leave its stalk intact and adequately attached.

The integrity can be broken if not handled carefully during surgery, so preserving it is critical for achieving a satisfactory outcome. During the repositioning of major tissue structures around the belly button area, plastic surgeons seal off vessels with sutures to keep as much of the original anatomy as possible.

This helps maintain blood supply to keep the tissue healthy and prevents damage or tearing when pulling new skin into place before attachment with additional sutures at the end of surgery.

Before and After Pictures of Tummy Tuck Belly Buttons

Visual Examples of How the Belly Button Changes After Surgery

Before and after pictures of other tummy tuck patients’ altered belly buttons can explain how the new shape can differ. A tummy tuck surgery involves skin removal, tightening, and contouring to reshape the area, which may cause a visible change in the belly button’s appearance.

After surgery, a small amount of extra skin is removed from around the belly button while it remains untouched and in its native position. Even with this preservation technique, some changes may still be seen, such as increased width or swelling due to trauma during healing.

The stalk of the navel may also be changed by removing or creating tissue underneath to fit into a new place that will look more natural than before surgery. Depending on body shape preferences, plastic surgeons will work together with their patients to determine where precisely the belly button ends up. One example is if they desire a flat stomach, a slightly lowered or higher position could give them that desired outcome.

Signs of Complications or Issues With the Belly Button After Surgery

Post surgery complications can arise regarding the healing stages of incision around the stomach after a tummy tuck. Some of the most common issues with incisions that can occur are infection, seromas, poor wound healing, and changes in sensation.

Signs such as smelly discharge from the lower belly button or hardness around the area should be taken seriously and could indicate an infection that needs medical attention immediately.

Additional signs may include increased redness, swelling, or pain that persists beyond what is expected for standard recovery time frames. Excessive bleeding post procedure can also indicate many serious complications related to your tummy tuck surgery.

Examples of these situations include gaping wounds created at small incision sites or the formation of hematoma blood clots resulting from trauma caused by repeated body movements during activities like exercise or coughing shortly following surgery.

Image Credit: Zinkevych / 123RF.com (Licensed).

Consultation and Evaluation

It is important to meet with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss the risks of undergoing a tummy tuck and evaluate if the procedure will produce the desired results.

The Importance of Scheduling a Consultation With a Plastic Surgeon

A tummy tuck consultation with a plastic surgeon will provide the necessary information and guidance when considering a surgical procedure. During the consultation, your plastic surgeon will review your medical history and assess your candidacy for surgery.

Your doctor can explain in detail how this specific type of operation works, including what to expect before, during, and after the process. With their vast experience and knowledge about tummy tucks, they can offer personalized advice on different options available for you.

Any questions or concerns you may have can also be addressed at this stage through personal consultation so that you are informed on all aspects of having a successful outcome from such an invasive treatment.

The Importance of a Natural Looking Belly Button After Tummy Tuck Surgery

Aesthetic results from a tummy tuck depend highly on creating natural-looking belly buttons and can set the tone for restoring your full confidence.

The Goal of Achieving a Natural Appearance After a Tummy Tuck

Achieving a natural appearance is critically important for the mother to reach a satisfactory outcome after surgery. The belly button is an essential part of this, as it needs to be repositioned and reshaped correctly during the surgery to create a natural looking result.

It should have an inconspicuous scar and look proportional to the new stomach. Pictures of before and after mini tummy tuck procedures will show how dramatically the belly button can change with a successful mini tummy tuck or full tummy tuck procedure from sagging skin around the area before to a tight, flat contour afterward.

Experienced plastic surgeons are key in achieving this goal due to their advanced skills in sculpting and restoring the belly button area for a natural finish, often using designer techniques or their technique for special results that don’t look overly artificial or fake like some do.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tummy tuck belly button

1. What is a Tummy Tuck Belly Button?

A tummy tuck belly button, or umbilicoplasty, is a plastic surgery procedure performed to reshape the navel after a full abdominoplasty or tummy tuck has been completed. This may involve reducing an outie’s size or re-positioning an in downwards and around for a more attractive look. 

2. Who is the Ideal Candidate for the Procedure?

People looking to enhance their overall body contour by addressing excess skin on the abdomen, resulting in improved abdominal aesthetics, often opt for the tummy tuck plus umbilicoplasty procedure.

Ideal candidates should be at least 21 years of age and healthy, with realistic expectations about results that can be achieved through cosmetic surgery.

3 What are Some Possible Risks Associated With Tummy Tuck Belly Buttons?

Some risks of these procedures include infection, poor wound healing, asymmetry, scarring, or ongoing discomfort in your new belly button region due to nerve damage from aggressive stretching during surgery. Your surgeon counsels you on all possible side effects before the procedure.

4. How Long Do I Have to Wait to Return to My Normal Routine After My Tummy Tuck and Umbilicoplasty?              

It’s always recommended that individuals take as much time off as needed when undergoing elective surgeries such as these. Activity restrictions vary based on individual lifestyle risk factors, so schedule a consult appointment with your plastic surgeon and seek advice from experienced specialists explicitly related to the surgery.

Image Credit: Lightfieldstudios / 123RF.com (Licensed).

Conclusion and Summary for Tummy Tuck Belly Button: Art of Aesthetics

A tummy tuck is a popular procedure for transforming the appearance of the abdomen, and it can significantly affect the appearance of the belly button. This body part can be dramatically reshaped for a more natural look during the procedure.

Though some changes in your belly button after a tummy tuck are normal as it goes through different healing stages, you should always seek medical attention if any signs of infection or problems with its appearance or shape appear.

It’s important to work together with the best plastic surgeons to understand what kind of outcome is likely so you know the expectations to set out beforehand. Careful finding and evaluating these factors before surgery will help ensure that your new belly button looks aesthetically pleasing following your procedure.

Please note that this article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Before making any changes to your treatments, please consult with your healthcare provider to discuss the appropriateness and safety of such changes.

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About the Author

Dr. Brandon Richland, MD is a respected Board Certified Licensed Plastic Surgeon in Orange County / Southern California specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries.

Driven by his passion for medicine, Dr. Richland obtained his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from the prestigious program at Saint Louis University (SLU) School of Medicine in 2013. His exceptional skills were recognized when he received the McGraw Hill / Lange Medical Student Academic Achievement Award, and graduated top of his class with Honors. For his undergraduate degree, he attended University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and graduated with Honors in 2009.

To further enhance his surgical expertise, Dr. Richland completed his Residency in Plastic Surgery at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) from 2013 to 2019 earning the Academic Achievement Award twice during this period. A total of 14 years in dedicated schooling and medical residency.

Dr. Richland is actively involved with healthcare and medical societies, as a Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, and the California Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Contact Dr. Richland today by visiting RichlandMD.com, scheduling a cosmetic consultation, or by calling 714-241-0646 or 949-945-0025 directly.