Tummy Tuck Belly Button Technique? (photo)

Hello- I would like to know what is considered the best technique for the belly button in my case (round, oval, etc). Does that depend on the surgeons technique or the patient? I have seen many tummy tucks with belly buttons that are not appealing and look too obvious. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 22

Natural Looking Belly Button after Tummy Tuck

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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.

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Belly Button shape with a Tummy Tuck

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As with much of plastic surgery, there is not a one size fits all when it comes to belly buttons.   I find the complete circular scars and mushroom shapes to be very obvious and unattractive.   In my opinion, the belly button is tell tail sign of a tummy tuck, so we must do our best to conceal the scar.

A belly button scar can be carefully hidden by precisely contouring the size of the belly button incision and native stalk.    Sutures to the fascia can help give a sunken in/hooded appearance, helping to conceal the scar deeper inside the belly button.  

Based on your hip contour and belly button shape, I would recommend a rounder belly button.


I wish you a safe and healthy recovery!!


Dr. Gill

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon

Belly button

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An esthetic umbilicus should be devoid of visible scars, should restin a peri-umbilical depression, and have a small hood on top some women use to place a piece of jewelry.

We have worked on thi for some time and presented the worksix years ago. Rewcently another plastic surgeon published similar results and a british plasti surgeon had also presented similar technique and findings 3 years ago.

The problem is some surgeons are not listening and are satisfied with mediocre results

M. Vincent Makhlouf, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

A Good Belly Button Is The Quintessence Of A Good Tummy Tuck

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What a great question, thank you very much.  The answer, of course, is choose the right Board Certified plastic surgeon, and you will get a great belly button along with the other necessary elements of a tummy tuck.  I personally use a vertical ellipse which then rounds out due to the vectors of force placed on it by suturing the umbilical tissue to the abdominal skin. 

That having been said, the key to a great belly button is what the surgeon feels most comfortable with.  Choose the right surgeon, discuss every aspect of the tummy tuck with him/her, see before and after pictures, if possible have a cup of tea with one or more of his/her patients who will show you their belly buttons and also their abdominoplasty suture lines.  A great abdominoplastologist has a specific technique for each portion of the abdominoplasty, i.e. rectus repair, minimal abdominoplasty scarring, umbilicalplasty, ancillary liposuction, etc. etc.  What you are really looking for is not the best technique for an umbilicalplasty but an artistic, Board Certified experienced plastic surgeon who cares. 

Tummy tuck belly button technique

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Thank you for you picture and a very important and rarely asked question about the belly button technique. Each surgeon has their own technique. Most aesthetic technique in my opinion is a superior V flap inset. This will have a smaller vertical umbilicus with a very natural upper hood and inward scars that are not visible. It's best you see examples of your surgeons work to asses the same. Also significant time must be spent in the operating room to achieve this very relevant portion of the abdominoplasty as correction is a difficult task.

What is the best technique for the belly button after Tummy Tuck?

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This is a great question and is very important to ask your plastic surgeon before surgery. The reason is that large round belly buttons are a telltale sign of an abdominoplasty and are unattractive.

The best and most natural looking belly buttons have four distinct characteristics. They are usually small in size, vertically-shaped, have a circumferential scar that is located inward as much as possible, causing a central depression of surrounding skin. This can be re-created surgically when the surgeon understands the intricacies of aesthetic surgery.

Erez Sternberg, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Natural Tummy Tuck Belly Button Appearance

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The best and most natural looking tummy tuck belly buttons have four distinct characteristics. They are usually small in size, vertically-shaped, have a circumferential scar that is located inward as much as possible and causes a central depression of the surrounding skin. This can be created surgically by how the overlying skin is excised for the belly button delivery and shortening the umbilical when putting it together.

Belly button aesthetics are important--bullseye scars (oval or round) don't look good!

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Everybody has a "secret," but many of us were trained by academic (mostly reconstructive) surgeons who really weren't concerned about the shape of the belly button, just that it healed OK. We were usually taught round, oval, or even a vertical slit, and many did not contour the surrounding fat to give it a nice sloping indentation. Lots of "paper punch" or "gunshot" bullseye scars were produced by many a plastic surgery resident. And when we got into private practice many continued this practice.

A few actually realize that a "bad" belly button scar or abnormal contour around it is a tell-tale sign of a poorly-performed tummy tuck (at least aesthetically). Lots has been written in our peer-reviewed literature, and after reviewing much of it, I now utilize a modified chevron incision (inverted-V) for the recipient skin opening, which stretches into a nice shape for the rounded top, sharp inverted-V bottom of the actual umbilical skin pattern, which looks like a circular pie with a slice taken out of the bottom.

This design gives an "innie" that has the scars concealed within a semicircular "hood" above the umbilicus, and a nice sloping un-scarred lower umbilical skin with the "V" forming short folds as a normal belly button does. No circular scar, and since the points of the umbilical skin make a sharp flap, there is less contracture (much like a Z-plasty). Circulation is critical, and requires careful handling and suturing of these compromised blood-flow tissues.

The actual patient's anatomy can also play a role here, as umbilical hernias, prior umbilical piercings, and previous umbilical incisions (as for laparoscopic surgery) and scars may have an impact on some choices.

But usually, it's the surgeon's technique (or lack thereof) that makes the difference! Even the abdominoplasty examples on my website show the "Old Design," which aren't bad; however, the "New Design" is better!  BTW, it's not something I thought up; it's been written up in our literature. Best wishes!

Tummy Tuck and Belly Botton

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The location, size and shape of a belly buttonis very important and could become "the signature" of the surgeon who perform tummy tuck operation. It should be on the midline about 4-5 inches above pubic line, vertically oriented oval shape and slightly depressed "inny". In order to be attractive it should look natural, therefore I like to leave a very small skin flap, hood like above the belly botton. It is, definitely technic dependant and surgeon should pay attention to the detailes at the time of performing tummy tucks

Belly button shape

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Every doctor has their way but also it can depend on the thickness of the abdominal wall flap as well.I think an inward pull superior is 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.