Does a tummy tuck require a fake belly button?

I've had twins that's left me with a pretty good amount of loose skin. I have a friend that got a tummy tuck and has a fake belly button. I wasn't a fan of it. It looked odd to me. Does a tummy tuck require a fake belly button?

Doctor Answers 13

Tummy tuck and belly button

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A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) does not 'make' a fake belly button.  To remove the excess skin and incision is made completely around your own belly button .  The excess skin is then pulled down and removed.  A new 'hole' is cut to suture the original belly button in .  Therefore, the belly button is not is yours with a scar around it.

Akron Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Tummy Tuck and Belly Button

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There is a technique where a fake belly button is created. It isn't popular for the reasons you suspect as it looks "stuck on". Where your own umbilicus can be used the results are much better. Having the stalk tethered below and a slightly raised skin flap above creates a normal "U" shaped umbilicus as a rule. The quality of the scar has a small influence on the result too.

Ken Dolynchuk, MD
Manitoba Plastic Surgeon

Belly button appearance after tummy tuck

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If you have extensive loose skin, as you mentioned, then you would need a full tummy tuck, which does involve repositioning the belly button. The belly button skin (in the depths of your current belly button) will still be the same belly button skin that is present afterwards, except that it will be sewn into skin from higher on your abdomen that has been pulled down as part of the tummy tuck. That means that there WILL be a scar around the belly button, which may be noticeable in some patients, and almost invisible in others. In most patients (unless they are extremely thin with no fat on their abdominal skin), there is enough depth of the abdominal skin to create a belly button that is deep (not flat), with the scars below the surface, where they're less visible. You as the patient can also tell your plastic surgeon what type of belly button you'd like, if you have specific preferences. The surgeon could then try to give you the appearance you want, although the appearance cannot be guaranteed, nor can the quality of the scarring. For example, you could express your preference for a larger belly button or a smaller one, or for one that is rounder or one that is more vertically elongated. Your surgeon can try to achieve those goals for you, but things may not heal exactly as planned. Above all, please keep in mind that almost all tummy tuck patients are extremely happy that they had the surgery, whether their belly button is beautiful or not. Even if your belly button does end up looking slightly "odd," it's a small price to pay for the tremendous improvement in how you look and feel (and it may not look odd at all!).

Andres Taleisnik, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Belly button after a tummy tuck

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the belly button after a tummy tuck is the same. But it is just "moved". How it is inset, anatomical variations (long stalk, width, depth, hernias, scars) determine the final outcome. So it varies. Yours will likely not look like your friends. 

Discuss with your surgeon to get an idea of the predicted outcome. 

Hope that helps and best wishes!

Dr Morales

ABPS Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Houston, TX 

Rolando Morales Jr, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Does a tummy tuck require a fake belly button?

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Thank you for the question.  You are not alone; many patients are very concerned about the postoperative appearance of their umbilicus. There is no "fake bellybutton; the patient's own belly button is utilized and brought out through an appropriate spot along the patient's redraped abdominal wall skin.

 Ultimately, the appearance of your umbilicus will be largely dependent on the technical skill and the aesthetic sense of your chosen plastic surgery. This is one of the many reasons why selection of your plastic surgeon will be the most important decisions you make.  Ask to see lots of examples of his/her work and preferably see/talk to patients who your prospective  plastic surgeon has helped in the past.

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.

I hope this, and the attached link/video, helps.

Does a TT require a fake belly button?

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It very seldom does. Typically, the belly button is simply moved to a newer location after the excess skin and tissue from your lower abdomen is removed. Consult a Board Certified plastic surgeon to see what your situation will be. 

Best wishes and kind regards,

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 230 reviews

Belly button

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Hello and thank you for your question. This is a good question because there are a decent number of patients that have this impression...that the belly button after tummy tuck is somehow "fake." This NOT the case. The belly button actually travels from the skin of the abdomen, down through the underlying fat and all the way down to the abdominal wall. The tube that helps form your belly button, that is connected to the abdominal wall is called the "stalk." The belly button if fixed, meaning that for the most part it cannot really be moved unless you sever the stalk completely.

I obviously don't know how your friend's tummy tuck was done and don't know what her belly button looks like so it is hard for me to tell what about the belly button looks "fake." Typically, people don't like when the belly button loses its depth, if it is too big and if the incision is very apparent. I tend to like to make the belly button on the smaller side, more vertical and oval and try and keep the incision on the inside so it is difficult to see.

Ankur Mehta MD

Ankur Mehta, MD
Sugar Land Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Belly button with tummy tuck after twins pregnancy

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Mothers of Multiples (MoMs) often require a different approach to tummy tucks, but usually the standard technique where the existing belly button is used works well. With a full tummy tuck, the skin of the upper abdomen is stretched down to cover the area below the belly button where skin was removed. The existing belly button is then bought out through a new opening but it is the same belly button. A mini tummy tuck does not involve a scar around the belly button but is unlikely to give a good result in MoMs.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Fake Belly Button Tummy Tuck

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The amount of loose skin you have will determine which type of tummy tuck you need. If you have loose skin both above and below your belly button, you will likely need a full tummy tuck. Getting a mini tuck when you actually need a full tuck will leave you disappointed and will do so at a financial and emotional expense. There is an incision and eventual scar around your belly button with a full tummy tuck, but it is never a "fake" belly button. It is always your original belly button. When the extra loose skin is pulled down, a new opening is made in your skin in order to exteriorize your belly button. Usually the belly button scar heals well and can even be hidden if done with a certain technique. You're right to be concerned about having a natural looking belly button. Making a nice, natural-looking belly button takes extra time. Some surgeons don't like to expend the extra effort. Make sure to closely examine before and after photos of full tummy tucks to see how the plastic surgeon handled the belly button. Best of luck!

Belly Button

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A full Tummy Tuck involves creating a new belly button but styles and approach for this vary between practitioners. I recommend that you research board certified Plastic surgeons in your area whose before and after photos appeal to you. Talk with them about their approach and recommendation for you.

All the best

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.