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What Should I Do About My Belly Button Closing After Tummy Tuck?

Ok, so I went to my PS to discuss my concern about my belly button closing. He gave me a shot of cortisone and said he will do it again in 3 mons & again 3 mons later. I read on this forum that your professional opinion is once it's closed it will not open. So I called my PS back and he said he will do a scar revision, but there is no guarantee that outcome is will be 100%. I questioned the zplasty, he said that is just for scars not the belly button. Now I have no idea what to do.

Doctor Answers (9)

Belly button after abdominoplasty


Sometimes the belly buton can scar down and close up after surgery.  Initially the best treatment is conservative and consists of steroids given monthly and massage.  If this fails to "dilate" your belly button, then the next option is a scar revision procedure which can be done under local anesthesia in the office. A z-plasty is an excellent option because , by the exact nature of the procedure, it divides the scar into smaller segments which help to prevent recurrance.  While nothing can be guaranteed,  good results can be achieved with a scar revision procedure if other conservative measures have failed.  good luck.

Short Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Belly Button after Abdominoplasty


Without more information, it is impossible to answer your questions.  It would also be helpful to show your before and after pictures.  If you are having unusual healing problems that it is good that you are following closely with your surgeon. 

Web reference:

New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Belly button closing down after tummy tuck, how ti fix it


You do not state how far you are from surgery and how scarred in your belly button is. What I find that works well in the rare circumstances that this happens is use an ear plug. Take a soft ear plug and squeeze it and roll it thin and insert it into the belly button. This will help control the scar in the early healing phase, prevents closure and helps soften it up. You might have to wear it for a few weeks. I would try this first, before jumping into a revision which will create a larger, uglier or more scarred belly button. Good luck.

Web reference:

Bellevue Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Closed belly button


If your belly botton is small or closed because of the scar than perhaps revising the scar might help. Sometimes the blood to the belly button is not good and there could have been some delayed healing in the area causing the belly button to shrink. Also some peoples belly buttons are not so well formed and are sort of damaged after pregnancy. If any of this is the case you might actually need a little more done in order to re-create the belly button. In any event it's pretty minor. If you are forming keloids or think scars around the belly button be careful of further revisions because this could make it worse and difficult to correct.

Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Scar mangement


I think you ccan still do an condences sessions of massaging the scar with silicon gel or any moisturing cream many times a day for at least 5 mintues. and most likely you are going to have ascar revision later if not now. although i prefer to wait for the scar to smoothen abit

UAE Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Closed belly button



Options depend upon how "deep" the problem is. If the belly button is soft and healthy underneath the surface, it can usually be revised under local (numbing shots.) Sometimes there is healing problem on the surface only and that is where the scarring is the worst. I would need to see you to help figure it out.


Best Regards,

John  Di Saia MD

Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Umbilical scar "closing down" after tummy tuck.


Umbilical scarring after tummy tuck is different for each patient, and depends not only on the innate healing and scar-forming tendencies of each patient, but also on prior surgeries that can leave belly button scars and decreased circulation to these healing tissues, as well as whatever circulation the umbilical stalk has after it is separated from the surrounding skin during the performance of your tummy tuck. This can be diminished even without prior surgery in this area.

Sometimes there can be superficial infection that decreases circulation, slows healing, and increasing scarring, or it can just be due to the genetics of healing that some patients bring to the procedure. We, as plastic surgeons, never know in advance when we may end up with one or more of these concerns, though fortunately they are relatively uncommon. But do enough tummy tucks for enough years, and we all see this occasionally.

Your surgeon is offering correct advice, and no surgical revision comes with guarantees, so this is correct as well. Z-plasties are done in cases where scar contractures would benefit from lengthening--this is a time-honored and well-understood procedure that every plastic surgeon learns and uses when necessary or advisable. The Z-plasty flaps that an umbilical scar revision would require are tiny, and would themselves be subject to circulation and healing concerns, so your surgeon's judgment that more scarring is not advisable is entirely reasonable and best decided upon by the expert actually examining your scar, not any on-line consultant.

If you still have questions, seek additional opinions, but your surgeon has the best information about you and your concerns, and appears to be right on target here. A poor umbilical scar is not your surgeon's fault, nor is it something that requires you to find the "right" corrective technique. Your surgeon wants as good a result for you as possible, but the present situation is what needs to be dealt with, and the recommended options and not "right" or "wrong," they are possible procedures designed to improve things as much as possible.

Good luck and best wishes!

Web reference:

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Scarring after tummy tuck


I think that at this point you and your surgeon are doing the right things given your situation. What may or may not also be helpful is gentle dilation of the bellybutton with a small marble that can be placed in the  bellybutton (and taped over). This may be left in place overnight and may help avoid continued contraction of the umbilicus. As with any recommendations you should receive online, I would suggest clearing it with your plastic surgeon before you begin.

Otherwise at this point there is not much to do except allow for continued scar maturation. Scar revision surgery may be necessary eventually.

I hope this helps.

Web reference:

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 626 reviews

Scar revision for belly button after tummy tuck


An umbilical scar (belly button) after a tummy tuck can be revised once the tissue has softened up, this may take 9 months or a year after surgery. The scar tissue can be excised and a new belly button created. You can also seek out a second opinion in your area but I would express your concerns again with your plastic surgeon and see if he has a good solution. Steroids have some role but can be "re-open" a belly button this has already closed and scarred in.

Best wishes,


Web reference:

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 122 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.

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