How To Achieve a Beautiful Belly Button Following Pregnancy

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While the belly button is a seemingly simple little feature on the body, you might
be surprised to learn it’s one of the most important aspects of a well-done tummy
tuck, according to plastic surgeon and tummy tuck specialist Dr. Chris Patronella.
So important, in fact, that Dr. Patronella performs an eight-step method to
meticulously recreate the nuances of an attractive navel in the tummy tuck
procedures he performs.
“The belly button can be one of the most obvious signs of a tummy tuck if it is not
done artistically with precision and attention to the details that make it look
natural,” said Dr. Patronella. And this is a problem because, “many women want
to be able to wear a two-piece swimsuit,” free of the fear that an artificial-looking
belly button is advertising the fact they had tummy tuck surgery, commented Dr.
Patronella. The issue is one of the top reasons women consult with him for
revision surgery to correct the results of a tummy tuck procedure they received
elsewhere.
Though it’s essentially a scar marking the place where the umbilical cord was
once attached, a youthful-looking navel, which in plastic surgery lingo is termed
an “umbilicus,” contributes to the overall elegant beauty of an attractive
abdomen. That’s why restoration of its once youthful appearance is one of the 10
key elements of Dr. Patronella’s True Form Tummy Tuck® method. But
achieving this goal is a more complex process then you might expect.
Before we delve into some of the details of Dr. Patronella’s method, let’s take a
look at what happens to the belly button during pregnancy, which, along with
weight gain and weight loss, is one of the primary reasons it loses its youthful
shape and firmness. In the months prior to delivery, the mother’s belly button,
along with the abdominal skin and underlying muscle wall undergo extreme
stretching to accommodate the growing baby.
After childbirth, many women, eager to get back their pre-pregnancy figures, are
disappointed to find their once tight navels and abdomens retain a stretched-out
appearance despite their efforts for improvement through exercise and diet. The
belly button, which is typically oval or round prior to pregnancy, often takes on a
more horizontal shape with a fold of skin over it.
And this is why tummy tuck surgery is such a transformative procedure for Dr.
Patronella’s patients, for it restores a toned and sexy sculpted appearance to the
abdomen, typically boosting their confidence, sense of attractiveness, and
satisfaction with intimacy in the process. As part of the procedure, the belly
button is detached from the skin around it to allow for repair of the underlying
muscle wall and the removal of loose, excess abdominal skin. This requires a
new opening to be formed in the abdominal skin for the belly button, one that is
higher up since the original position would be too low once the skin is pulled
down and sutured into place.
To create a natural-looking outcome here requires a convergence of artistry and
science—the skill combination that makes plastic surgery both intriguing and
complex. In addition to other techniques, Dr. Patronella incorporates umbilical
hernia repair (if needed), shortening of the umbilical stalk (the part of the belly
button that is attached to the muscle wall), specialized suturing techniques, and
fat removal to replicate a vertical absence of fatty tissue around the belly button,
which, turns out, is one of the anatomical characteristics of an attractive navel if
you were to examine its appearance beneath the skin.
While these maneuvers may not sound particularly inspired, in combination they
produce the characteristics of an attractive, elegant feminine navel, restoring
firmness and a deep inward contour to the belly button. Dr. Patronella said, “I aim
for a shape that’s slightly more vertically oval rather than round, as this is more
typically representative of the beautiful, toned abdomen.
His impressive results and detailed methodology earned Dr. Patronella an
invitation to present his expertise on the subject at the Texas Society of Plastic
Surgeons 2014 meeting. The talk—Umbilicorraphy: Key Elements in Creating a
Natural Umbilicus During Abdominoplasty--was well-received and generated
numerous questions from his colleagues, reflecting the continuing quest to
master the technicalities of this aesthetic niche.
Most importantly, Dr. Patronella’s tummy tuck patients give their results high
scores, with 87% of 86 respondents rating the appearance of their belly button
following surgery as excellent or good in a 2014 survey sent to 150 consecutive
tummy tuck patients of the surgeon.
And, ultimately it is their satisfaction, and delivering the most natural-looking
aesthetic ideal possible that drives Dr. Patronella and other innovators in his
specialty to continually refine the techniques of their trade, For it is in the details
that excellence resides, the distinguishing difference between standard versus
breathtaking results.
Article by
Houston Plastic Surgeon