After a tummy tuck, is the new belly button's appearance dictated by the surgeon's technique or the patient's body?

Many tummy tucks result in a tiny, unnatural-looking belly button that, in my opinion, is awkward to behold -- and a dead giveaway of plastic surgery. I'm wondering why this is. If I end up with a tiny "TT" belly button, will it be because my body and skin demanded it, or because the surgeon isn't adept at crafting realistic navels?

Doctor Answers 4

After a tummy tuck, is the new belly button's appearance dictated by the surgeon's technique or the patient's body?

 Thank you for the good question. Understandably, the appearance of the umbilicus is of great importance to many patients undergoing tummy tuck surgery; after all, it may be the only telltale sign of having undergone the tummy tuck surgery when the patient is wearing a swimming suit or undergarments. The umbilicus should be positioned carefully; if it is too high or too low, it may be a sign of tummy tuck surgery. Ifit is too round or slit like it may also look "surgical". Most patients prefer a relatively small and oval-shaped umbilicus.

BOTH the patients "anatomy" and the plastic surgeon's technique will play a role when it comes to the final appearance of the umbilicus.  For example, if a patient has a very stretched out umbilicus or a short umbilical "stalk", there may be limits as to what can be achieved aesthetically. My best suggestion: select your plastic surgeon carefully.  Discuss your goals/concerns/questions directly with him/her.  He/she will be able to provide you with more specifics (including realistic expectations). I hope this helps.

Surgeon's technique will determine your belly button

after a tummy tuck.  And  there certainly are better ways to bring that belly button to the surface.  If the belly button isn't very pretty or if there is an umbilical hernia, I suggest giving up your belly button and having a reconstruction later.  This produces a 'belly button' that has no scar around it but it is shallow when on your back.  You should clearly discuss all of your options for your belly button but there are too many circular belly buttons surrounded by a rim of scar.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Belly button and tummy tuck

The final size and shape of the belly button (umbilicus) has a lot to do with your plastic surgeon's technique. The surgeon can control to a certain extent both size and shape. Some patients have a pre-existing hernia which can however impact the final look of the belly button. I feel the bottom portion of the belly button needs to be tucked in deep so that you can not visualize this area. You want to avoid a perfect circle as those tend to look unnatural.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 330 reviews

Belly buttons after tummy tuck

Most the time the answer to your question is "yes". Sometimes there can be some physical limitations and issues based on the patients own physical anatomy. Achieving a good looking belly button is not easy and takes a significant amount of time. As with many things in life, some surgeons are better than others. look at the belly buttons when you are looking at the before and after photos.

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.