Natural Looking Belly Button After Tummy Tuck?

Do you think my belly button will open up and look more natural after everything starts to relax and heal? How long before my belly button starts to open up and look normal again? Right now it looks like a coin slot (I am 2 and a half weeks post-op).

Doctor Answers 10

Belly Button Healing

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It is always easy for the surgeon to say but a lot more difficult for the patient to do and that is be patient. Changes will occur over the next 4-6 months and if the belly button needs a revision this can usually be done under local anesthesia in the office. I find that sometimes physicians don't emphasize to patients the course of wound healing to expect after procedures and that it is a prolonged period to see the final results, although the major improvement is pretty evident early on. The more detailed a surgeon is in discussing these things pre-operatively to the patient, the more comfortable the patient is afterwards if there are minor problems. Patients should ask their physicians detailed questions and not be afraid of taking up their time. You will feel that the process was worth it if small problems are not magnified by not having the knowledge of wound healing beforehand.

Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tucks and Belly Buttons

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The sheer fact that there are AT LEAST 10 ways (last time I counted) to re-create a belly button (ie UMBILICOPLASTY) should tell you that no one technique is the undisputed winner. Plastic surgeons as a whole share several qualities; We are all obesessive, perfectionists who constantly tinker with out techniques in search for the ever elusive perfect surgical outcome.

I share some of the opinions espoused so far. It is too soon to tell how the belly button will turn out - so I would not focus on it. I would stent it with a small and retrievable marble. This will guide the ever working scar forces to heal it with it open more than the way it is now. You must take care NOT to put a marble that is too large and would exert undue pressure on the closure or the skin walls, potentially causing an ulcer. (Removing it for a few hours and keeping the area clean is a MUST).

By 6 months post-op you will be looking more or less at the healed belly button outcome. In the unlikely even that you do not like it then, only then would I recommend contemplating a surgical revision.

Good Luck.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Belly button after tummy tuck

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It is difficult to tell. The belly button will definitely change as it heals, but in my experience, the belly button tends to get a little smaller as time goes on (scar tissue). So if your belly button is very narrow right now, it may get narrower.

One little "trick" that helps to keep the belly button from getting too small as it heals, is to keep a marble in it (I know it sounds crazy, but it keeps it "splinted" open). Obviously, do not do this without checking with your doctor first!

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It's still early...

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It’s not unusual for the umbilicus to undergo significant changes in the immediate post-operative period.Wound healing is a dynamic process and for this reason, the shape of the belly button may change.The coin slot umbilicus that you describe may change as wound healing continues and swelling resolves.This may result in a rounded umbilicus with a more natural appearance.
Unfortunately, even after resolution of swelling and further wound healing, many patients are still unhappy with the appearance of their umbilicus.Under these circumstances, a revision umbilicoplasty may be necessary under local anesthesia.This is a difficult procedure that’s not always successful.
It’s important to be patient and maintain good communication with your surgeon.Remember it’s still early and significant improvement may occur with normal wound healing.

Tummy Tuck and Belly Button

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Every surgeon does their belly button in a particular way. Right now you do have some swelling and it will settle over time and may open up. It will take about 4 months time before the swelling resolves. At that point you can then re-evaluate and see how your belly button looks like.

At that point if you so desire you can get a revision done to make it look better, this is not impossible but is tricky and difficult.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Belly button appearance after tummy tuck

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At this point in time, there are alot of forces working on the belly button that make it difficult to predict exacxtly how your belly button will eventually look. There are scar contraction forces that tend to make it smaller and wound tension forces that tend to make it larger.

In my own practice, I prefer to make them smaller because they have a tendency to get larger in many instances. If they do not, I occasionally have to do a revision to make it larger and rarely to make it smaller.

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

Normal Belly Button after Tummy Tuck

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Hi Girl From Texas, It's very early to tell what your final outcome will be for you navel. You are still likely very swollen at only 2.5 weeks post op. If your surgeon was able to show you a consistent history of before and after photos that demonstrate the "style" belly button he does for patients, it's likely you will be similar and achieve the same outcome. On the chance you do not, a revision is simple in office procedure, you can discuss in a few months after you've had adequate time to see what your actual outcome will be. Good luck to you!

William Aiello, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

A beautiful natural belly button can be a challenge

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There are many techniques to attempt to recreate as attractive and natural a belly button (umbilicus) as possible. Keeping the size of a belly button small is best. With healing there tends to be initial tightening of a scar over the first few months. As the belly button scar is circular it may tend to get smaller early on but stretching of the scar can take place as the scar matures with gentle daily scar molding and massage therapy.

David J. Levens, MD
Coral Springs Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Wait For Results To Appear

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Swelling can hide the results of your surgery. Please wait at least three to four months before inspecting your results. By this time, the majority of swelling will have subsided and your belly button may become more pronounced.  Best of luck!

Belly Button after Tummy Tuck - Look at before and after photos There should be NO VISIBLE SCAR

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A full abdominoplasty requires the surgical creation of a new belly button. Creating the new belly button, which is called an umbilicoplasty, is a part of tummy tuck surgery that requires a great deal of attention and finesse on the part of the surgeon. My goal is to create a new belly button that, as much as possible, resembles a 'natural' belly button. Natural belly buttons do NOT look like a perfect circle, and circular umbilicoplasty scars are a tummy tuck dead giveaway. 
The technique I use for umbilicoplasty is designed to create a slightly 'hooded' appearance to the upper half of the belly button, an appearance that is generally considered fit and athletic. Not all patients have the goal of wearing a two-piece swimsuit, but many do, and I want these patients to be able to do so without feeling self-conscious about the appearance of their new belly button.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 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.