I Love my Belly Button. Is There a Way to Have a Tummy Tuck and Keep Mine?

I lost over 60 lbs 10 years ago and am considering a Mommy Makeover, though I do not have kids. I'm 5'5" and 125.

Doctor Answers 19

Belly button after tummy tuck / abdominoplasty

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You will keep your belly button after a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty. The skin is moved but your umbilicus stays in place. 

You can keep your navel with a tummy tuck.

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The conventional abdominoplasty leaves the navel attached to the abdominal wall and reestablishes it through the abdominal wall as part of the operation.  It should look close to, but no exactly like yours preoperatively.

Belly button position & appearance after tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)

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What happens with a tummy tuck, is that the belly button is dissected free and kept on its stalk and repositioned into the appropriate position after the tissue has been re-draped. Almost always the umbilicus, because of separation of the rectus muscle, or redundancy of the skin in the periumbilical region, is not as attractive as desired. It sounds like that in your case, you are very happy with its appearance and need to communicate that with your surgeon. One of the tell tale signs of an sub-par abdominoplasty is a poorly repositioned umbilicus. It is important to keep it relatively small, avoid a circular scar and keep the scar internalized. Your surgeon should be able to easily accomplish this.

Tummy tuck: same belly button but different button hole

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When performing a fummy tuck you will keep the same belly button (umbilicus) with a full tummy tuck. However it will exit the skin in a new location (button hole). A mini tummy tuck will tend to leave the belly button untouched. A midi tummy tuck or fusion between the two may "float" your existing belly button down to a new location. See the linked video for a description and before/after photos.

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

You will continue to have your own belly buttom

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As you can see in all the answers you will continue to have the same umbilicus after the surgery, however the way the "new belly bottom" is inset is very important, because you should be able to cover your lower abdominal scar with your underwear, the umbilicus will be visible if you decide to wear 2 pieces bikini or tank tops. When consulting your surgeon you need to ask for pictures of belly bottoms after abdominoplasty if they do not provide several of them, it probably means they do not pay enough attention to this important part of this procedure and you should see another surgeon. Good luck

Victor M. Perez, MD, FACS
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Your belly button is the same, but can look different with a tummy tuck

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Dear Jupiter5457,

Keeping your belly button is the standard way a tummy tuck is performed. Note that 'keeping' is the key word that may mean something different to you vs. your surgeon.

When a tummy tuck  is performed, there is an incision made around your navel so that it is detached from the surrounding skin. It is still attached to the underlying muscle layer, however, and will remain in the same location after surgery. In the course of performing the tummy tuck, loose abdominal skin is pulled down and extra skin is removed. As the skin is pulled down, the navel becomes covered by the skin that moved down from above. The navel s still in its same location, and an incision is made through the overlying skin, so that the navel can be brought through, and its edges are stitched to the new hole.

Technically your navel is the original one, but the surrounding skin is different. the method in which your surgeon handles how the new opening is made and stitched can impact on the appearance of the 'new' navel. Making the new 'hole' various shapes and sizes can alter the final appearance of the navel. Likewise, the method of stitching can affect the outcome.

In my practice, I ask if the patient has a preference of how they want their navel to look (e.g. similar, or a different/youthful look), and will plan accordingly. Make sure you discuss this with your board certified plastic surgeon. Good luck.

Best regards,

Lawrence Tong MD FACS FRCSC

Lawrence Tong, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon

The Tummy Tuck Belly Button is YOUR OEM Belly Button

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Many women MISTAKENLY assume that a NEW belly button is created when performing a Tummy Tuck. In reality, that is not the case. In a Tummy Tuck, the tummy skin and fat are lifted from the underlying muscles AFTER the belly button was separated from the skin allowing it to stay attached to the underlying abdomen. The separated muscles are brought together thereby flattening the tummy and narrowing the waist. The skin is then pulled down and the excess of it is removed from the bottom while still allowing closure of the wound. To create an appealing belly button the surgeon needs to make sure it is an "innie" and has s slight hooding over the upper edge (from 10 to 2 o'clock). In summary - the Tummy Tuck belly button is "original issue" only better. Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck

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you will keep your belly button.  It never moves, the skin is draped over it, and then it is brought back out.

David A. Lickstein, MD
Palm Beach Gardens Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Belly button can be key to the perfect tummy tuck

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You do indeed keep your own belly button in a tummy tuck procedure. It stays right where it is, and after all the skin excess is tailored and trimmed away, the belly button is brought out in its 'anatomic' location to complete the procedure. The belly button must be inset to ensure the shape is characteristic, and the scar is hidden. The belly button can make or break the result, as the lower scar can be concealed, though often the belly button cannot. Review your surgeon's results carefully to help you anticipate what you should expect.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Belly button is the signature of a good tummy tuck

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Many people have a hard time picturing exactly what happens with a tummy tuck, but it is your same one, in the same place. However, because it is separated from the skin that surrounds it, and then brought out through a new opening, it can look different. This is where the finesse comes in, as there are specific things that can be done to make it look natural and attractive.

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