Should I Have a Belly Button Revision?

I had a full tummy tuck about a year ago and am still having problems with a hypertrophic scar. Starting at six months, my surgeon tried silicon cream, silicon sheeting and the redness/itching has still not subsided.

I am very happy with the result and hopefully our next option, steroid injections, will eliminate the itching and redness but I fear my belly button will still be very scarred. You can see the stitching all the way around. Would a belly button revision likely make it look better or worse?

Thank you,

Doctor Answers 8

Umbilicus revision

A revision of the umbilicus may imrpove the quality of the scar. Perhaps this time the surgeon can use a subcuticular suture so that stitch marks do not appear on the skin.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Belly Button Scar revision

It would seem that the main reason the scar is so prominent is that the sutures were placed through the skin causing "railroad track" scars rather than under the skin (subcuticular closure). I would recommend a scar revision then use of a sliicone scar maturation product such as BioCorneum or Scar Guard.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Umbilicus Revision

If you are happy with the overall result, that is a good place to start. Creating the new external belly button is one of the most important parts of an abdominoplasty. It is not an easy thing to do, and doesn't get easier when it is a revision. I agree with what my colleagues have said, and would add that laser is another option. I use several lasers, but for you would choose the Fraxel 1550. It will take multiple treatments, you should choose an experienced physician to do it, and perhaps the scars will be subtle enough they won't bother you. And of course revision umbilicoplasty is always an option; if you choose that get a real specific plan of how your surgeon plans to do it. Best of luck.

Barbara Persons, MD, FACS
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Belly button scar revision is ideal after tummy tuck or abdominoplasty for visible scars

Belly button scar revision is an excellent procedure that will allow you to regain confidence in your abdominal area.  Revision techniques have allowed me to improve the scar pattern and visibility in patients after tummy tuck and abdominoplasty. 

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Belly button (umbilical) scar after tummy tuck

Belly button scars vary tremendously in their appearance with some being barely visible and others appearing red and thickened. This is quite difficult to predict. IT may be worth a revision because the circumstances are slightly different now with improved vascularity and less tension as well as greater knowledge of the way you heal.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Bellybutton revision after a tummy tuck

Tummy tucks are a very popular and effective way to contour the abdomen. Aesthetically, one of the most important components of a tummy tuck is the appearance of the bellybutton. In our practice, we typically create a vertical bellybutton and avoid placing a scar around the bellybutton by placing it at the bottom of this structure.

However, we commonly have patients come to practice after having received a tummy tuck elsewhere for a revision of the bellybutton. If the patient has enough skin laxity is possible to correct the bellybutton into a more attractive structure with a less noticeable scar.
Your best bet is to work with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has a great deal of experience with abdominoplasty and umbilicoplasty. They will be able to assess the quality of your tissue and determine which techniques can help you achieve your goals.

To learn more about tummy tucks, see photos, and help you decide which one is best for you, please visit us at the link below:

Pat Pazmino, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

A revision might be good

You might have a situation where a revision would help. I find those railroad track marks around the belly button very distracting because they stand out so much when the abdomen is exposed. Removing the scar and closing again with dissolvable sutures under the skin could make this much better. However, scar hypertrophy might again become a problem if that is your body's healing tendency.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

If it bothers you I would discuss a revision with your PS

It is hard to tell from the closeup picture, but the belly button appears small in addition to the suture tracks around the scar. Is that the case?

Either way, I think there is some advantage at 1 year out for revision of this scar possibly either using only dissolving sutures beneath the skin or at the very least getting the sutures out very early to prevent the suture marks. There is some risk of causing narrowing of the umbilicus if attention is not paid to this.

York Jay Yates, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 175 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.