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Belly Button Almost Closed After a Five Month Tummy Tuck.

I had a tummy tuck five months ago and my belly button is almost closed. The only thing that fits is a q-tip and pushing it hard. What should I do?

Doctor Answers (13)

Belly button closing may indicate separation from skin

+3

Dear angiem2220,

If your umbilicus (belly button) is now almost closed, there is a strong possibility that the umbilicus has separated from the skin and will completely close over. The most common reasons for this happening is due to tension on the incision around the umbilicus, too much activity soon after surgery, or smokers who resume smoking after a tummy tuck (or never quit in the first place).

During a tummy tuck, an incision is made around the umbilicus so that it is detached from the tummy skin. The entire tummy skin shifts downwards (as the extra skin is removed), but the umbilicus stays in the same spot. A new opening in the skin overlying the umbilicus is made, so that it can be brought back out. Once brought through the new opening, it is sewn to the tummy skin. For one or more of the reasons listed above, the umbilicus (gradually) became separated from the tummy skin, and started the process of closing shut completely.

Bottom line: your situation is not an emergency, but you should see your plastic surgeon to have it corrected. Often this can be done with just local anesthetic anesthesia. Good luck.

Best regards,

Lawrence Tong MD FACS FRCSC


Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Belly button scarring after a tummy tuck

+2

You may find that steroid injection and/or massage may be useful in softening up the scar around the umbilicus.

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.

Otherwise allow time for scar maturation to occur and understand that scar revision surgery may be necessary.

As with any recommendations you should receive online, I would suggest clearing it with your plastic surgeon before you begin.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 710 reviews

Belly button shrinking after a tummy tuck

+2

A tummy tuck is a safe and effective procedure to contour the abdomen, create a tight waist, and remove extra skin, fat, and stretch marks.

The creation of a belly button is one of the most important parts of creating a beautiful tummy tuck. One possible risk for this procedure is excessive scarring around the belly button which can shrink its size. If this is happening, your best bet is to work with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has a great deal of experience in abdominoplasty, liposuction, scar revision, and body contouring. They will be able to assess your belly button and determine what surgical approaches may be necessary to fix this scarring. Sometimes, this correction may be done in the office, but in some patients they are best served with a small procedure in the operating room often underneath the skin flap by opening a small portion of their abdominal incision.

Pat Pazmino, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Closed Belly Button after Tummy Tuck

+2

This sometimes can happen but you can have this fixed with a small minor surgery that will open it back up. 

Robert N. Young, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Belly button too small

+2

As healing occurs, sometimes there is contraction of the scar.  If this happens to a circular scar like the one around your navel, it can cause narrowing and shrinkage.  Go back to your surgeon and have him/her take a look.  Any revision can most likely be done with a local anesthetic in the office.  Also, I sometimes have my patients wear a stent in their navel if I am concerned that it is narrowing.  A marble or bead of some sort can be taped over.  It sounds weird but it works!

Good luck.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, M.D.

Lisa L. Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Belly button narrowing is easily fixable

+2

Occasionally during an abdominoplasty, when the new belly button hole is made too small, it will constrict as the incisions heal. This will not improve on its own. The good news is that it is easily fixable. The way that I have successfully reconstructed new belly buttons involves a small incision around the existing belly button and replacement with a skin graft. It works beautifully.

Kevin Brenner, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

My belly button shrunk after a tummy tuck, what should I do?

+2

It may sound like a trivial problem, but it should be fixed, since this may create hygiene problems and be a source of infection.   Thankfully, these problems are a easy fix under local anaesthesia in the office.  A Plastic Surgeon can shift a small amount of tissue into the belly button area and improve its appearance as well as making it much easier to clean.  

Claudio DeLorenzi, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Belly button (umbilical) healing and scarring following tummy tuck requiring revision

+2

The belly button commonly heals with an unpredictable result due to the scar tissue that occurs with the original clamping of the umbilical cord. Once the scar has softened (typically 6-9 monhts) a scar revision or neo-umbilicoplasty can be preformed to open or create a new belly button.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Extreme Narrowing and Obliteration of Belly Button after Tummy Tuck

+2

Regarding: "Belly Button Almost Closed After a Five Month Tummy Tuck.
I had a tummy tuck five months ago and my belly button is almost closed. The only thing that fits is a q-tip and pushing it hard. What should I do
?"

Extreme Narrowing and Obliteration of Belly Button after Tummy Tuck is called UMBILICAL STENOSIS. The scar tissue around the belly button constricts and deforms it. I ASSUME you discussed this with your Plastic surgeon and are gathering more information. This condition can occasionally be treated by progressive dilatation of the opening with increasing size marbles but in many cases requires surgery in which the old scar tissue is removed and the wound in closed in a way which makes it hard for new scar to constrict the new belly button.

Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Belly button scarring

+2

It sounds like you have stenosis (narrowing) of your belly button post tummy tuck.   Scar massage therapy may improve this.  However, you will likely need a small procedure called an umbilicoplasty (which often can be done just under local anesthesia).   I recommend you first visit with your surgeon who performed your tummy tuck to learn more about your options.

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 116 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.