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Belly Button Size / Shape After Extended Tummy Tuck

Overall I am very pleased with the results thus far given the swelling. I'm curious on my belly button size (Is this normal, will it shrink and go "in-ward" as it heals?) I did learn that there was no ab repair in my Post Op visit. Since my abs were not protruding and or seperated (after three kids?) they didnt need repair. Is this also normal and or relate to any of my resulsts in any way I should be aware of? Thank You in Advance for your comment / feedback.

Doctor Answers (15)

Belly Button after Tummy Tuck

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A full abdominoplasty requires the surgical creation of a new belly button. Creating the new belly button, which is called an umbilicoplasty, is a part of tummy tuck surgery that requires a great deal of attention and finesse on the part of the surgeon. My goal is to create a new belly button that, as much as possible, resembles a 'natural' belly button. Natural belly buttons do NOT look like a perfect circle, and circular umbilicoplasty scars are a tummy tuck dead giveaway.

The technique I use for umbilicoplasty is designed to create a slightly 'hooded' appearance to the upper half of the belly button, an appearance that is generally considered fit and athletic. Not all patients have the goal of wearing a two-piece swimsuit, but many do, and I want these patients to be able to do so without feeling self-conscious about the appearance of their new belly button.


Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

TT plication

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We get an interesting amount of questions about muscle plication on this forum.  Your photos imply that you probably wound't have benefitted much from plication although your history suggests that the muscles are probably separated.  If your abdomen is full and tight in the resting position from being overweight then there is no real point to plicating.  It doesn't improve your figure as much if you are full framed.  Photos can be decieving so only on examination will your surgeon know.  The belly button probably will need a revision where they make it a little bit smaller and that will help.  Over time they reduce in size but not much.  Best wishes,

Ricardo A. Meade, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Tummy Tuck Belly Buttons and Muscle Separation Repair.

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Belly buttons should look normal and natural and non surgical after tummy tuck.  Period.  The most common error is to make belly buttons look far too large and gaping.   The rectus muscle sepapation , I find, needs repaired to the midline in 95% of all abdominoplasties.  Rectus = Abs in you terminology.

George Commons, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Belly Buttone size after tummy tuck

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After and tummy tuck the belly button often looks larger due to swelling. Over time I have found that the size of the belly button does get smaller. In terms of your muscle repair, after having 3 children I would think that you would have some laxity and need the muscles sewn together in the mid-line.That is very standard for a tummy tuck for most people.

Sheila Bond, MD
Montclair Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Belly Button Size / Shape After Extended Tummy Tuck

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After looking at your photos, it appears that the surgery itself was a success.  As far as muscle plication, it is hard to say for sure whether or not it would have been necessary, pictures can sometimes be deceiving.  I usually examine the patient prior to surgery to determine whether there is any diastasis, (muscle seperation) but ultimately it is what I find at the time of surgery that determines what I do.  However, I must say that I think your belly button has been inset much too large.  It is unlikely that this will "shrink" with time. The good news, however, is that you can have a revision that should make your belly button look quite acceptable.  The belly button is the make or break of the operation.  You can get a great, flat abdomen, but with a large, crooked or otherwise cosmetically unacceptable belly button, what good was it to have the surgery after all? Good luck!

Amy T. Bandy, DO, FACS
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Belly button and abdominoplasty

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You are way to early to worry about the final rsult of your umbilicus. It will take some time for the swelling to dissipate.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Belly button can be key to a great tummy tuck

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The lower tummy tuck scar can be concealed under clothing, but the belly button scar can be visible and make or break a tummy tuck result. It is important for those considering tummy tuck to pay attention to the belly button in the 'before and afters' as each surgeon may approach this area differently. I don't think that the diameter of the belly button scar will get smaller during healing, though the scar can become paler. Muscle repair too might have been nice. After full healing you can take matters into your own hands, with further weight loss and muscular strengthening.

Best of luck,

peterejohnsonmd

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Unhappy with Belly Button Size / Shape After Extended Tummy Tuck

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Regarding: "Belly Button Size / Shape After Extended Tummy Tuck
Overall I am very pleased with the results thus far given the swelling. I'm curious on my belly button size (Is this normal, will it shrink and go "in-ward" as it heals?) I did learn that there was no ab repair in my Post Op visit. Since my abs were not protruding and or seperated (after three kids?) they didnt need repair. Is this also normal and or relate to any of my resulsts in any way I should be aware of? Thank You in Advance for your comment / feedback
."

Your new belly button appears abnormally large and an "outie". This MAY improve with scarring but I am skeptical that it will ever be a sexy belly button. Only time will tell.

I am stumped by the decision NOT to repair your tummy muscles. There is NO WAY you could have had 3 full pregnancies and have done so without separation of the six pack muscles. That is a physical impossibility. You must have misunderstood the nurse's / or doctor's comments.

For the time being there is nothing to be done. I would wait 6-8 months before examining the situation and deciding if anything needs to be done.

Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Swelling after a TT can make your BB look larger than it will be

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Your belly button looks a little large, but it may well shrink as the swelling goes down.  A circular scar often contracts inward.  I cannot imagine why your muscles were not plicated.  Your pre-op photos certainly show protuberance.  In a woman who has had children I always tighten the muscles.  It is part of my initial consultation discussion.  If a woman specifically asks not to have it done it is noted in the chart.

Lori H. Saltz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Belly Button size and shape after Extended Tummy Tuck.

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It's hard to tell from your picture, but could it be that you have a cotton ball or gauze dressing in your umbilicus? If so, this will be removed when your umbilical sutures are removed. Though I do not personally use this type of belly button bandage, I have seen surgeons who feel that they enhance the funnel shape by doing this.

I'll bet everyone feels silly if this is indeed the case!

Your (early) result looks good, though I too am curious why a rectus sheath plication was not performed. I suspect the majority of PS would do one, but each case is unique and either you trust your surgeon's judgment or you don't. Sounds like he was honest in telling you, so why question his surgical motives and decision-making now?

Take care, and recover well!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.