Full Tummy Tuck Consultation: Dr Said I Could Keep my Belly Button?

I had a consultation for a tummy tuck and the surgeon said i need a typical tummy tuck. she would raise my privates and remove the excess fat and skin and smart lipo my sides and put the drains on my sides. I told her that i was worried about dog ears and how my belly button would look and she said i could keep my belly button. i do have loose skin above my belly button so i dont know why she said that. I also have 4cm of muscle sep. any suggestions to her method?

Doctor Answers 9

In A Full Tummy Tuck, The Base Of One's Belly Button Is Always Your Original Belly Button

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Your belly button is the remnant of your umbilical cord.  This went from your mother's placenta directly through your abdominal wall to your liver.  As such, the belly button lives on two blood supplies - one from your skin and the second blood supply from your liver.  When your plastic surgeon cuts around your belly button in a standard tummy tuck, your belly button is now dependent on a single blood supply from your liver.  It is later pulled up through an incision in your now tightened abdominal wall, therefore the consultation you had with your plastic surgeon who stated you would be keeping your same belly button was absolutely correct.  In a standard tummy tuck, your belly button is the same one you have always had.  It just has a new opening to the skin of your abdomen. 

Belly Button after Tummy Tuck

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Based on your photo and the information provided you are a good candidate for a full tummy tuck with liposuction of the flanks. With that procedure your original belly button will remain attached in its original position and will be sutured back to the skin from underneath after all of the muscles are fixed and the skin and fat excess is removed.

If you are still confused about how your procedure will be done have another consultation with your surgeon to be certain that you have a clear understanding of what will be done and what to expect after surgery.

Mark Preston, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon

Full Tummy Tuck

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You are the textbook case for a full tummy tuck with some flank/hip liposuction.  You can expect a phenomenal result from this procedure.   In regards to the belly button, it appears that there may be some miscommunication between you and the surgeon.   It is farely standard in your case to reposition the belly button after skin removal to maintain a normal abdominal contour.  

I wish you a safe and healthy recovery.

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Full Tummy Tuck

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From your photograph it appears your doctor has the right plan more or less. It appears to me though that you may not understand how an Abdominoplasty is done and I would respectfully suggest that you read more about it BEFORE having your surgery.

The belly button is NEVER removed by real Plastic surgeons. It IS occasionally removed by other specialties when they perform "tummy tucks" leaving women looking like cloned aliens. To remove ALL excess tummy skin, the belly button is separated from its skin attachments. After the muscles are tightened, the tummy skin is pulled down and the excess is removed. A new location is marked for the OLD belly button waiting under the skin and it is exited and stitched in its new location.

The ONLY exception I would take to your surgeon's recommendation is the SmartLipo. There is NO proof that it is superior to VASER or standard liposuction and may introduce the risk of irregular ties of the skin and burns. But if she feels comfortable using it and informed you of the risks it is between you two.

Good Luck.

Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Keeping your belly button during tummy tucks.

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You will keep your belly button which is beneath the skin and a new opening will be created.  The skin around the belly button will be removed.  It is often confused that the opening is the actual belly button which is not true.  Your belly button comes from inside your abdomen.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Your Original Belly Button Is Kept In All Types Of Tummy Tucks

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You not only are a great candidate for a full tummy tuck with flank liposuction but your plastic surgeon's description is also accurate. Keeping your original belly button is part of every tummy tuck. The original stalk of the belly button remains as well as it location on the newly shaped abdomen. What changes is the hole or incision where it comes through relative to the pulled down skin flap. Dog ears are always a potential problem in tummy tucks at the very sides of the incision. Whether they will be a secondary problem or not can not be determined prior to the surgery.

Full tummy tuck

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From the photos, you will be well served by a full TT in which the belly button is saved and the skin is pulled down and a new hole is made for the bb to come up through.  Muscles are tightened from top to bottom. Good luck!

What will be done with belly button in my tummy tuck?

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IF your question is whether or not you would retain your belly button, you would - it would not be removed. Without all the information including her specific recommendations, I would be making a conjecture. However, if a (full) tummy tuck was recommended versus a mini-tummy tuck then it is likely that she would address the issue of excess skin above the belly button which would involve its detachment from the skin and then reinsertion at an appropriate location later on in the procedure.

You should consider a second visit with her to make sure that you understand well that is involved.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Full tummy tuck

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It look like from your description and your photos that you are a good candidated for a tummy tuck.  Good luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 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.