Tummy tuck scar and belly button scar - what should be expected?

Why are some belly buttons so round, some so oval, so really shallow, and some have such a pronounced scar? What should they look like and what procedure is best used to make them beautiful and not be a tell tale sign of a TT. Also, why are some tummy tuck scars so neat and symmetrical while others are so jagged and crooked?

Doctor Answers 6

Quality of healing after a tummy tuck.

There are multiple factors that determine the outcome of a full tummy tuck surgery for an individual patient.  One of the most important is the surgeon's technique but equally important is the quality of an individual patient's healing.  Occasional patients genetically form thick or dark scars whereas most form scars that are not invisible but are very acceptable after 9 to 12 months of healing and scar maturation.  Avoiding an oval incision around the belly button is important as is being certain that the final tummy tuck incision is low enough across the pubic area to be easily covered by clothing and bathing suits.  There is no trade off for adequate skin removal, and too short an incision ends up working against you.  The key is to avoid unnecessarily making too long an incision and placing it properly.  We also offer to our patients Embrace Scar Therapy during the healing phase to reduce the prominence of any scars that develop. You can learn about Embrace Therapy on Youtube. Best advice is to review photographs of other patients before choosing the plastic surgeon whom you find gives you confidence and reassurance.  Best wishes and good luck.  Enjoy your results. Jon A Perlman M.D., FACS
Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Member, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
ABC-TV Extreme Makeover Surgeon
Beverly Hills, California

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Tummy tuck scar and belly button

Thank you for your question.The incision from a tummy tuck and new belly button depends on a couple different factors such as the doctor’s technique, the patient’s desired outcome and how the patient’s body heals. If you make a curved incision then this allows the surgeon to remove more skin without increasing length or size of incision. Plastic surgeons will always try and place the incision line as discretely as possible and there are options to help reduce the appearance of the incision scar by the use of topical scar creams or laser treatments. With the belly button, it really comes down to the doctors technique, I would look at their before and afters and if you like their style I would schedule a consultation with them and discuss with them your expectations. I hope this helps.
Best of luck in your endeavors!

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Board Certified ENT
Board Certified Plastic Surgery
Member of ASPS, ASAPS, ISAPS, The Rhinoplasty Society, AAFPRS, OTO/HNS, ASLMS, International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics & Science

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Find the right surgeon and communicate your goals and concerns clearly

I pride myself on more natural-looking tummy tucks.  I think there are several principles that need to be followed in order to maximize results without leaving someone "branded" by surgical stigma.  The incision and the belly button are two areas where that is so important.  The other is to make sure you don't pull the skin so tight that that abdomen becomes taught like a bed sheet.  A natural abdomen has contour no matter how skinny someone is.  Getting a beautiful scar in the right place is critical.  The other important component is the belly button.  Oval or round scars around the belly button look terrible.  I use an omega pattern to give the natural hooding and landing strip look of a normal belly button- I think it makes all the difference.  I've seen some use the omega pattern, but use it upside down!!  I'm glad you are on top of this and think that un-natural results are just as bad as I do.  Hope this helps.-JGH

Scar appearance

Thank you for your question.  There are many factors which influence the final appearance of scars after surgery.  There are technical details such as the type of suturing and tension on the scar.  There are also many genetic factors that are innate to each individual that are hard to control.  Overall, a scar following an abdominoplasty should be fine line, flesh colored, relatively symmetric, and well-hidden below the underwear line.  Belly button appearance after surgery is also something that is often unique to the individual.  Some are more round and others more vertical or horizontal in appearance.  Natural belly buttons tend to have superior hooding which can be difficult to recreate surgically.  Its most important to keep the scars around the belly button as hidden as possible and the opening small so that it is not a focus of attention.  I recommend seeing a board certified plastic surgeon for a consultation to get more details. Good luck!

Brian A. Pinsky, MD
Long Island Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck scar and belly button scar - what should be expected?

The appearance of scars can depend on many variables.  Some variables can not be controlled such as genetics.  Other variables include the location of the excess skin and fat as well as the technique used by the surgeon.  When you meet with a board certified plastic surgeon, make sure you review many of his/her before and after pictures to evaluate the placement and appearance of scars.

Naveen Setty, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Abdominoplasty scars

The two key factors in healing are the surgical procedure and how the individual patient heals.  Plastic surgeons do their best to get the best scars possible, but some patients develop hypertrophic scars or dark scars.  Specifically the belly button.  If a woman has a deep belly button before surgery it is much easier to give her a deep one after.  On the other hand, a shallow belly button is harder to deepen.  When we are creating the long scar we make it symmetric, but the tension and healing can create an uneven appearance sometimes.

Samuel Beran, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 4 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.