Scar Under Belly Button After Tummy Tuck

Recently, I had a Tummy Tuck with inguinal hernia repair about 8 weeks ago. My plastic surgeon stated I could have a mini Tummy Tuck. Turns out I had severe Diastasis Recti, so my tummy tuck became standard? I was surprised to see the 2 inch scar below my belly button after surgery, and was told that the skin had changed color from being too tight, so this scar was necessary. I am not pleased with the look of either this scar or my belly button and I also still see abdominal profile as bulging as before. What happened?

Doctor Answers 5

A change in plan: converting from mini to full tummy tuck in the operating room

The circumstances you describe indicate that the surgeon was telling you the truth and that his/her intra-operative observations were not consistent with his/her pre-operative assessment requiring a change in plan. He/she converted from a mini to a full tummy tuck but one in which the low lying incision prevented complete excision of all the infra-abdominal skin. This left you with the vertical umbilical incision which likely hyperpigmented. Over time this should lighten in appearance (2 years).

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Tummy tuck scars

A small scar under the umbilicus if it is betweent he closure and the new umbilical closure may represent the old scar from the umbilicus.  Without photos or an exam it is hard to say.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

You may need more involved surgery


Sometimes the extent of surgery needed to fix a problem is hard to figure in surgery or pre-operatively. This can be a matter of experience, but even with experience can come the nature of variable healing. It sounds like the plan for a mini tummy tuck was seen intra-operatively as insufficient. Post-operatively, your correction may not be holding up.

You may be looking at a revision for whatever reason.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Not enough skin...

For most surgeons, if it was clear that you were to have a mini tummy tuck going in to surgery, that's what would have been done. An extensive repair of a rectus diastasis generally requires a full abdominoplasty (with a scar around the belly button) or "floating" the belly button where it is detached, then re-sutured to the abdominal wall (this avoids the scar around your belly button). Certainly, there are other ways as well, but if a full abdominoplasty is to be performed and there is not enough skin to remove everything from the pubic area to the belly button, then the patient is made aware before surgery that there would be a vertical scar below the belly button where the belly button used to be. That can be a deal breaker for some women, and so other approaches are used (to repair as much of the diastasis as possible). If something looked compromised at the time of surgery, then I'm sure your surgeon did what he felt was best for you to avoid anything disastrous. He/She my be able to revise something in the future once things have healed. Good luck!

Robert S. Houser, DO
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Scar under Belly Button after Tummy Tuck

Tummy tucks are very popular and effective way to contour the abdomen. A tummy tuck is designed by using a low abdominal scar along with a small scar at the bellybutton. It is unusual to have a scar underneath the bellybutton. Discuss with your plastic surgeon the placement of the scar. It may have been necessary to perform because of some characteristic of the hernia repair.

If you are unhappy with the appearance of the scar, discuss with your search in the different modalities that may be used to make the scar less obvious.

To learn more about tummy tucks, see photos, and help you decide which one is best for you, please visit us at the link below:

Pat Pazmino, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 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.