Good Tummy Tuck Should Also Include the Navel Appearance


Most people think that tummy tuck is simply about tightening the abdominal area, which is generally achieved by removing the excess, apron-like skin.  However, they fail to realize that the navel appearance can also make or break the surgery; hence a good surgeon will pay great attention to this seemingly small detail, which in reality is the “focal point” of the abdomen.

During a tummy tuck—which typically uses a hip-to-hip incision in the lower abdomen and possibly as close as possible to the bikini line to conceal the resulting scar—the skin is elevated off of the muscle layer, removing the portion that contributes to the saggy appearance.

Then a fine incision is made around the navel, making sure that its stalk remains attached to the abdominal muscles.  After the muscles are tightened and sutured into the midline, a hole is made in the skin where the belly button is “poked through.”

While the “process” may sound easy, this is far from the truth.  Meticulous wound closure is critical so that no visible scar will occur around the navel; this is accomplished by placing the scar on the inner edge or rim of the belly button.

To further minimize the risk of visible scars, buried/internal sutures can be particularly helpful.

In general, attractive and natural-looking belly buttons are somewhat vertically oriented, as opposed to looking like a perfect circle that is a dead giveaway that someone have had a tummy tuck.  Having an “innie” appearance is also considered ideal.

To preserve the innie appearance or turn an outie into an innie, the stalk of the navel must be properly secured to the abdominal fascia.

Should the patient has a reasonably nice-looking navel prior to surgery, all efforts must be done to preserve it.  It should not look like a slit or perfect circle, appear significantly smaller or larger from its pre-operative appearance, or lie too high or too low.

For most patients, the ideal position of the “new” navel is actually its original location.  The skin above it is simply pulled down (like a window shade) and with a “hole” where it can be poked through.

Article by
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon