Will I have a large outie belly button forever? (photos)

I had a mommy makeover with breast augmentation and tummy tuck with major hernia repair with fat graft to buttocks two weeks ago. No drains and was told that because I was so thin before and lipo was minimal I did not need to wear and compression garment. I hate the belly button. I know it will change in appearance over time as the swelling decreases. However, it sticks out really far and I am worried. I wanted a tiny innie and have a huge outie right now. Will it get smaller and go in?

Doctor Answers 6

Mommy Makeover

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You are still early postop and it will take time for everything to settle. The tummy button is a congenital scar and it will take at least 6 months before you can truly assess the result.

Manchester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Still Early in to the Healing Process

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Healing will continue for 2-3 months for the early period. This includes some swelling, bruising, malposition, color differences. Sensation in the breasts may also be abnormal and scars will be evolve. Tingling, burning or shooting pains in the breasts will disappear with time and should not alarm you. It is simply a result of the regeneration of your sensory nerves. If these sensations cause pain, repeated, local self-massage per your surgeon's permission may help. The purpose of the post-procedure #garment is to provide some gentle #support and to reduce swelling following a #TummyTuck or #Abdominoplasty. If it feels too tight or causes pain, take it off. Patients wear the #elastic garment for several weeks after surgery, as directed by their doctor. Some choose to wear it longer for several months for comfort.
As I advise my patients, if your work keeps you sedentary, you may return whenever you feel up to it. If your work is strenuous, wait until your work activity does not cause any superficial pain.
Some employers will modify a person’s job duties so they can back sooner, but without physical activity. Our office can provide our patients with a note stating they are not to engage in strenuous activity for a specified period of time. The note will not disclose what procedure they have underwent. Therefore, you may have to request a similar note from your surgeon if you are not independently employed. I recommend avoiding heavy lifting and strenuous #activity for six weeks following your surgery. With that said, it may help you plan your return to work accordingly.

As for heavy lifting and other #strenuous #activities, it should be avoided for until you have clearance from your surgeon. You may, however, do normal activities at any time if they cause no pain or #discomfort. Let your body tell you what you can or cannot do. Aerobic exercise will raise your blood pressure, which could cause late bleeding and harm your result. Once you begin exercising again, start gently and let your body tell you what it can tolerate. Don’t rush!!  If you have concerns about your healing, or pain that you question to be unusual, it is important to call your plastic surgeon to discuss these further asked to be examined.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Mommy makeover recovery

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You are still very early in the healing process.  You are correct in stating that it will change in appearance as the swelling decreases.  I know it is hard to be patient, but you will not be able to evaluate your final results until about 6 months after surgery.  At that time if you are still unhappy with your belly button you can look into having a revision done to the area.  

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Worried about navel two weeks after tummy tuck

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Thank you for asking about your belly button.

  • You have had a lot of surgery and everything is swollen.
  • You cannot now know what your belly button will look like when you are healed
  • It will improve dramatically - please give yourself a minimum of six weeks.
  • If in six months you do not like the result, your surgeon can probably easily revise it in the office with local anesthesia.
  • Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS


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At two weeks after surgery there is still a significant amount of swelling.  Your body is about to enter a period of rapid collagen/scar production so things will begin to change.  The circular scar around your bellybutton will begin to contract and begin to make your bellybutton smaller.  It is difficult to tell from the pics how far it sticks out so make sure to bring this up with your doctor.

Adrian Smith, MD
Jackson Plastic Surgeon

Innie Belly button

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An innie belly button can be created for you with proper planning and surgical accuracy. It requires proper fixation of the belly button stalk to the muscle fascia as well as accurate identification of the belly button stalk when creating a neoumbilicus so that the ring that you are seeing gets placed into the shadow of the belly button. See link below for more discussion.

Arian Mowlavi, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 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.