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Worried About Belly Button After Mini Tummy Tuck

I just had my mini TT about 2 wks ago. All went fine. The pain was less than during a c-section. I'm worried about the way the belly button looks. It looks like a line with two folds around it. My doc said to start packing it which I'm doing but once I remove the gauze and tape, it folds back into a line. I can't see how the skin will spread apart but I'm still hopeful. Is this the normal healing process for the belly button because the pictures that I've seen show very tight skin around the navel. Will time fix this???

Doctor Answers 18

Belly Button Appearance After a Tummy Tuck

A full abdominoplasty requires the surgical creation of a new belly button. Follow the link below to vie pohotos of belly buttons on my website. 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
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

The skin will relax over several weeks to months


Don't worry. You are only two weeks after surgery. Your skin is very tight and also very swollen. This will distort your belly button to some degree. It is unclear from your question whether there is an incision around your belly button. If you had a "mini tummy tuck," then you should only have an incision at your panty line. In either case, however, you will be very surprised how much the skin will relax and appear more natural after several weeks to months. I hope this is helpful.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Mini Tummy Tuck

It is very common for the belly button to get stretched during a mini-tummy tuck.  This results in vertical orientation of the belly button.  This will gradually settle with time as the lower abdominal skin loosens up.  Also, a vertically oriented navel is meant to be more attractive than a round or horizonatl navel.

Belly button after mini-tummy tuck

The belly button is pulled on when you have a mini-tummy tuck as the lower skin is removed.  Usually this will settle down a bit with time.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Worried About Belly Button After Mini Tummy Tuck

You ask a very common question.
Without question, the skin after tummy tucks relaxes. It can take some time and two weeks is still extremely soon after surgery in terms of healing time. Also, remember that there is still considerable swelling underneath the skin that you might not even realize. This swelling also makes things "tighter" but as this resolves the tissues loosen. At three months post op you should have a better idea of the result. 

Have patience and good luck.


Bram Kaufman, MD
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Peri Umbilical Scars

One of the advantages of a mini abdominoplasty is the absence of peri umbilical scars.  In an effort to avoid these scars compromises are sometimes made.  Theses may include not tightening the upper abdominal muscles or removing excess upper abdominal skin.

In the early post-operative period this can result in a transition zone between the tight lower abdomen and relatively lax upper abdomen.  This transition occurs at the point where the umbilicus is fixed to the skin and this is why distortion occurs in this area.

The vertically oriented line of the umbilicus with adjacent folds is the type of distortion that would be expected under these circumstances.  This is an entirely normal phenomena and should improve with time as the lower abdominal skin relaxes.  In some cases remodeling can be facilitated with the use of stents and modified dressings.

It’s still very early in the post-operative course and remodeling will probably occur.  Be patient and make sure you discuss the issue with your surgeon.

Belly Button

I would wait, since two weeks is very early. The taught skin will relax over time and i bet you will be pleased. The vertical nature of your belly button is based on the pull of your skin. Again, give it time.

Belly button appearance after mini tummy tuck


That is one of the potential downsides of a mini tummy tuck.  The belly button is not usually rejuvenated.  Give it more time as it may improve a little more.  You can undergo a peri-umbilical  skin excision which may help this but it still will not look as good as if it were completely rejuvenated.

All the best,

Dr Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 130 reviews

Belly Button and Mini Tummy Tuck

There are a variety of incisions used to recreate the belly button or umbilicus during a tummy tuck.  The initial appearance will change when the swelling goes down and the car matures. 

I needed there are some revision procedure that can be performed to improve the appearance.of the belly button following mini tummy tuck.

Fredrick A. Valauri, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

Belly button after tummy tuck

Belly buttons are tough.

If your belly button looks slit like after a Mini tummy tuck (where there usually is no scar at the belly button), it is likely due to the pull of the skin, and may be hard to round out.

You can try the marble trick to round it out a little, which can have small success.

If there is a scar at the belly button, then many other factors come in: how is your scar? is it soft? how was it inset? did you keloid? etc.

A key to remember: you are JUST after surgery. When you are two weeks after surgery, it is tough to tell what is "real" and what is "artifact"- a lot of what we see while you heal is due to swelling and inflammation, and when it settles down it looks fine.

Lauren Greenberg, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 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.