Cosmetic Surgery Tips

New Belly Button After Tummy Tuck

A new belly button is the ultimate reward for all your hard work. It’s the last step of your tummy tuck recovery, but it’s also the one that makes you feel like a whole new person.

There are two main types of belly button after tummy tuck: umbilical and natural skin-to-skin. For an umbilical belly button, your surgeon will remove your old belly button and replace it with a plastic disc that looks like a navel piercing; this is called an umbilicoplasty. If you want to keep your original belly button, you can opt for a natural skin-to-skin navel (also known as an innie).

Right here on Cosmeticsurgerytips, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on tummy tuck belly button healing stages, belly button after tummy tuck care, pictures of belly buttons after tummy tuck, and so much more. Take out time to visit our catalog for more information on similar topics.

New Belly Button After Tummy Tuck

belly button after tummy tuck

To me, one of the most important parts of a tummy tuck is the belly button. Whether we like or don’t like the tummy tuck scar itself, it is usually concealed under the bathing suit or bikini line, but the belly button is there for all to view. I wish more surgeons focused on it. An overly large belly button can diminish what is otherwise a lovely result.

I always tell my patients that nothing is as natural as a god-given belly button, but I do my best to keep it as natural as possible after surgery.

Belly button thinking

Keep it simple

I have seen surgeons make all sorts of unusual shapes in a quest for the “perfect” belly button. In my opinion, the simpler the better. I make a short horizontal line and remove little if any skin. Because of the downward tension on the abdominal skin, that horizontal line elongates into a diamond. That is all you need and as the umbilical skin heals the diamond becomes rounder.

That horizontal incision, which elongates into a diamond, also allows me to pull the abdominal scar down lower- so to me it is a win/win.

Keep it small

 I like small belly buttons for three reasons:

  1. Smaller belly buttons are less obtrusive. Meaning, they draw less attention.
  2. I don’t know what kind of scar you will make. While I use all the tools in my power to make your scars beautiful, ultimately, your genetics will determine how much scar tissue you lay down. A smaller belly button will generally leave a smaller scar.
  3. If a belly button is too small making it larger is easier, but if a belly button is too large making it smaller is far more difficult.

Keep it low

To some extent, in a standard tummy tuck, we are beholden to the starting position of the belly button. But when the tissues are elevated that little stalk can be nudged up or down and even right to left. When I can, aesthetically I prefer a little lower. In my opinion, an umbilicus in the lower third of the abdomen tends to make the torso look longer and hence leaner.

Leave it long

We can leave some surrounding skin which, when flipped up, will deepen the stalk when the belly button is freed from the surrounding tissue. Why would you do this?  Most women having tummy tuck have muscle tightening. When the midline tummy muscles are pulled together, tissues in between, including the belly button stalk, are pulled inward. Starting with a longer stalk allows a more precise and tension-free closure. If too long, the stalk is easily trimmed as it is inset.

Quilting and tension

As many of you know I quilt my tummies. That means I sew down the abdominal wall skin so it heals more quickly. It also lets me pull the abdominal skin to the belly button without pulling on the stalk. Less tension often means less risk of healing issues and hopefully a better scar. Removing some fat in the area where the belly button will be placed also helps to minimize tension and improve contour.

While my way is not the only way, and nothing is foolproof, it has been an evolution. It has always been my goal to put as many patients as I can back into a two-piece bathing suit, have them feel good about it, and hopefully have no one know I’ve even been there.

What Happens to the Belly Button During a Tummy Tuck?

So, you’ve decided to get a tummy tuck. But you still have some questions about the procedure — including about what happens to your belly button after a tummy tuckTrusted Source.

Many people wonder this exact thing, as a botched belly button can make the tummy tuck not worth it at all. Rest assured that in most cases, the belly button won’t be altered or moved, instead the skin and muscle around it will be tightened.

If you opt for a mini tummy tuck, the whole procedure will take place below the belly button, which is a good option for those who are just concerned about a small pooch in the lower belly.

Tummy tucks and the belly button

During the tummy tuck procedure, an incision will be made in the low abdomen through which fat and stretched skin will be removed, and any loose muscles will be sewn together. Another incision will usually be made around the belly button.

The remaining upper skin is lifted up as high as the rib cage and pulled down like a window shade to the lower skin near the pubic bone. The skin is now stretched tight and the surgeon then chooses the new ideal position to place the stalk of the belly button.

Your belly button is actually attached to the muscles below. During the procedure, it’ll stay attached to its “stalk.” In most cases, the surgeon will create a new opening for the belly buttonTrusted Source, especially if its shape has become distorted after weight gain or pregnancy.

If this isn’t done well, the belly button may end up looking distorted — either too flat, too deep, or the wrong shape. So, it’s important to ask your surgeon to see their portfolio and ask about their ideas for your naval.

If you’re healed from a tummy tuck and still dissatisfied with your belly button, you may consider an umbilicoplasty, which is a surgery to change the appearance of the belly button.

Healing after surgery

The recovery timeline after your tummy tuck will vary depending on several factors including your age, weight, and general health.

You may or may not have to spend the night in the hospital. Your drainage tubes, which pull fluid away from the abdomen, will likely remain in place for several days.

You’ll also need to wear an abdominal binder for about 6 weeks. This is basically a very tight band around the belly that supports the tummy and helps to avoid fluid buildup.

It’s especially important that you wear your binder and avoid strenuous activity so the belly button heals properly.

Post-surgery care 

Your doctor should give instructions on how to care for your belly button after a tummy tuck. This may include cleaning the area with warm water or a saltwater solution.

It’s normal for the area to look swollen and even a bit crusty after surgery, and it may take as long as 6 months for the belly button to heal.

When to see a doctor

Call your doctor right away if you notice signs of infection in the belly button after a tummy tuck. These signs include:

  • The belly button looks too constricted or too open.
  • Pus or discharge is coming from the naval.
  • Your belly button protrudes for more than a few weeks.
  • You feel something hard behind the naval.
  • The belly button looks distorted or “off.”
  • The scar feels painful or becomes more prominent.
  • You notice blood at the incision site.

The bottom line

A tummy tuck can be a good way to flatten the stomach and tighten muscles in the abdomen that may have gotten loose from pregnancy, weight gain, or just general aging, but many people wonder what’ll happen to the belly button as a result of the procedure.

Normally, an incision will be made around the naval and it’ll be lifted and put back in the appropriate place to fit the new shape of the stomach. Other times it may be necessary to make a new opening.

It’s always a good idea to see before and after pictures from your surgeon and pay close attention to the belly button area when viewing them.

Before and after pictures

It can be helpful to see before and after photos of the belly button after a tummy tuck when deciding if the procedure is right for you. Check out the gallery of real patients below:

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