Umbilicoplasty Revision After Full Tummy Tuck, Thin Patient

I am 5'7, 130 lbs, athletic, with a lot of abdominal muscle tone.I had a full TT done in November 2010.My belly button didn't have any depth after my TT so in February 2011 we decided to do an umbilicoplasty to try and correct the problem.The revision, again, didn't turn out as we hoped. My belly button is flat with zero depth.I'm scheduled for another revision in just a few months but I am a little discouraged.Is it going to be difficult for my doctor to correct this mistake?Any advice?

Doctor Answers 8

Umbilicoplasty Revision After Full Tummy Tuck, Thin Patient

Very difficult issue to repair the depth appearance of the umbilicus. If after the second attempt you are still unhappy try skin color tattoos to appear as shadowing giving the impression of depth. 

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Umbilicoplasty after tummy tuck

You present a very challenging problem as you not only have a flat bellybutton but also hypertrophic scarring from your previous procedures. It would probably be prudent to wait as long as you can before considering any further surgery to allow time for the scarring to soften. Scarring is usually at its most hypertrophic and stiffest at 4-6 months after surgery. Since any revisionary surgery would involve manipulating the skin, the softer it is, the better. For you, the stiffness should  be starting to decrease about now, so the longer you can wait, the better. Good luck to you.

Margaret Skiles, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
3.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

You may have better result with fat grafting to make the it look deeper

Scar revision will not help an will make the suitation worse. The better option would be fat grafting to tissue around the belly button so it would seem deeper

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Difficult problem

This is a difficult problem because your fat content around the area is small.  trying to rebuild an inny belly button is difficult for this reason.  The only option is to minimize the scar as much as possible, make it smaller with a purstring suture. 

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Concerns regarding an umbilicoplasty

Despite what would seem to be a fairly straightforward problem, an umbilicoplasty in a thin person like yourself is challenging aethetically. There are limitations with regard to outcome but it is reasonable to wait a few months before attempting a revision of your results.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Belly button revision after tummy tuck

It appears that you have hypertrophic scarring where your belly button should be.  I have seen patients whose belly button has been obscured by surrounding thick hypertrophic scarring essentially hiding the BB beneath, and I have seen patients whose belly buttons were lost due to inadequate blood supply (necrosis) and subsequently healed with just scarring and no recognizable belly button to speak of. You do not mention that your belly button was "lost" and was an open wound and took weeks to heal in, so I am unsure what actually transpired. In any event, the difficulty is cutting out your scarring and making the resulting hole smaller in diameter prior to anchoring it down to the fascia.  There are many techniques, described, but most of them do result in some surrounding other words, scars that extend out from the BB in order to close down the larger diameter defect into a smaller diameter BB with perhaps a scar that runs inferiorly for an inch or two, versus multiple scars that extend out from the BB perhaps a half inch each.  In terms of making an "inny", if you are very thin, your BB can never be much of an "inny" because there is no thickness of surrounding fat for it to "dive" in through.  But, when the time is right, at least something can be done to make your BB look more like a BB.

Robert M. Grenley, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Revising a belly button scar

I would wait a few months longer and allow your skin to fully heal from the last revision before you have another attempt at revision. The scar tissue needs time to soften before you have surgery again.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 382 reviews


Please don't refer to this situation as a "mistake" because you are obviously very thin and as such can never have a deep belly button. The only way you can have that is if there is enough of a wall of fat around the umbilicus so it looks deep.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 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.