Can My TT/Belly Button Be Fixed? (photo)

I had two kids one tummy tuck which was done terribly by Dr. Gary Burton in bowie MD. I was so frantic to go back under the knife he ruined my life if you asked me and never tried to give me back my money he only tried to fix the problem but couldn't, I was so hurt and crushed once I saw my final results I wished I would have never chose him as my doctor I am still living with regrets until this very day :( to be honest I have been trying to find a doctor who could fix my belly button.

Doctor Answers 6

Dark raised scars after a tummy tuck

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Your photo reveals a hyperpigmented (dark) and hypertrophic (thick) scar.  Have you tried bleaching creams, and steroid injections?  Scar revisions alone usually will not improve this type of scar.   Scar revision coupled with various other treatments such as bleaching creams for the darkness and silicone sheeting may help flatten the scars.  If this is unsuccessful, Fraxel restore laser treatments are often beneficial in decreasing the darkness with careful injections of steroids to flatten the scar.

Tummy Tuck in People of Color and Keloids

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I am sorry to hear about your recovery thus far.  Your belly button may be a tough fix because it appears that you have some component of keloid/hypertrophic scar as well as increased pigmentation.  The best thing to do now is to allow the scars to settle unless they bore themselves out to be keloids by increasing in size and thickness then steroid injections can be given.  Steroid injections have there own downside especially in people of color.  Silicone bandages can help by placing pressure over the scar to flatten it.

During my consultation I try to determine the healing characteristics of people of color by history and examination.  If it is determined that keloid formation is a possibility then at times I recommend that this is drastic tradeoff for better abdominal contour and that this may not be the wisest choice.

The increased pigmentation may just have to potentially improve on its own.

Dr. ES

Can My TT/Belly Button Be Fixed?

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Thank you for your question and for the attached photos. 

The post-ops are a little close up and therefore it is hard to compare overall contour with the pre-ops.

The things that ring out as problems in these less than one month photos are hyperpigmnented (dark) and hypertrophic (thick) scars. In fairness to the surgeon, how incisions heal are largely out of his control, and are determined by genetics. The navel in the pre-op photo seems to be similar size, but perhaps less noticeable due to the absence of the dark scar outlining it. I don't think it likely that another surgeon doing the same procedure on you would have avoided the dark and thick scars. 

There are a number of things that are non-operative that can be done for thick or dark scars. Bleaching creams (with Hydroquinone) are usually effective in lightening dark scars. Scar creams (mederma, scarfade, kelocote), al\\laser treatment,  and injections (kenalog) can be effective for thick scars. I would try any or all before surgery, which has a reasonable chance of yielding no improvement. At any rate, four weeks is way to early, as most scars are reaching their peak of discoloration and thickness at this time, and most will improve over the course of a year. 

Getting a second opinion is probably best since you seem not to have confidence in your surgeon.  All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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Can My TT/Belly Button Be Fixed?

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The posted photo demonstrates hyper pigmentation and hypertrophy scarring. Revision in my opinion will only worsen. Laser therapy has very limited responses. Best idea is a decorative tattoo. 

Belly button scar after tummy tuck

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I recently saw a patient with a very similar scar after her tummy tuck. This may be fixable if you are willing to have a vertical scar from the belly button down to the tummy tuck scar.  If one tries to simply remove the scar around it you will only be faced with more tension around the belly button and likely a recurrent hypertrophic scar.  If this is excised as an ellipse then a new hole that is much smaller can be created to bring a smaller belly button through.  Good luck!

Tummy-tuck scars in darker skin - hypertrophic and keloid scars are strongly patient-dependent!

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Thank you for your question.  You seems to be a Fitzpatrick skin type 6 (out of 6).  And darker skin people have more often darker scars, and wider scars (hypertrophy and keloid).  Your belly-button results is not the greatest, yet, this result can happen even in the best hands.  Your surgeon is board-qualified and your abdominoplasty result is quite good.  Healing after surgery is NOT entirely dependent on the surgeon's skills.  Part of it is genetics, your own.  I would strongly suggest you wait 6-12 months to allow the skin to stabilize and perhaps an umbilicoplasty can be redone, minimal tension closure, post-op steroids, and deep dermal-to-fascia stitches to invaginate the final scar away from the surface.  This can be done under local anesthesia.  Go back to your original surgeon or seek another qualified board-certified plastic surgeon.  Best of luck!  Dr. Marc DuPere, board-certified Toronto plastic surgeon, with an office in Richmond Hill, 416.929.9800.

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.