22 days post op from tummy tuck with muscle repair and breast augmentation. I didn't have an outie belly button before (Photo)

I am 22 days post op from my tummy tuck with muscle repair and breast augmentation. The day after my tummy tuck my belly button was an innie, a few days after this ball thing appeared. My doctor says it's normal swelling but I can't imagine it going back in. My next appointment is a couple weeks away and it doesn't hurt and isn't bothering me. Is this normal looking?

Doctor Answers 14

Belly button after a tummy tuck

A beautiful belly button is an innie with some hooding on the top and indrawing at the bottom.  The scars should be pulled in to make sure that they are as little visible as possible.  Not all surgeons focus on making a nice belly button.  So long as you thought your surgeon did a nice belly button based on consultation photos then you should be fine.  It is true that the umbilicus can swell early on.  In my patients I use a dressing the helps push the belly button in while it heals.  Speak to your surgeon to make sure they are comfortable with this.  Swelling can take several weeks or even months to resolve.


Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Belly Button

Thank you very much for your question.

You are still early out from surgery, so your belly button appearance may improve with time.  I would continue to follow closely with your plastic surgeon and follow their instructions.

It is possible that this is a small belly button hernia that you are now noticing since you had the abdominoplasty.  This is something that can be diagnosed by your surgeon.

Daniel Krochmal, MD
Chicago General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Belly Button

Hello, 

Thank you very much for your question. 

It is difficult to say as there may still be swelling. It'd be best to speak with your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for their suggestions. 

All the best. 

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22 days post op from tummy tuck with muscle repair and breast augmentation. I didn't have an outie belly button before

Without a good set of pre-op photos it's difficult to comment optimally. It could possibly be swelling, but if after 6 months or more-the condition persist- a re-exploration of this area may be indicated.

Swelling of the navel can create significant protuberance in the early aftermath of mommy makeover.

From the photograph I see nothing to be alarmed about. The umbilicus commonly looks as way due to swelling after and abdominoplasty.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Belly button issue

Thank you for your question.  It's still too early after surgery to make any final judgement on the appearance of the belly button.  Give it a couple of months for some of the swelling to go down.  Also try daily massage of the area and wear a compression garment.  If it persists, discuss your concerns with your surgeon to go over options.  Good luck.

Zachary Farris, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Outie - Innie and Abdominoplasty

Thank you for your question.  Overall your result, by the picture, looks like it should for the three week mark.  You will still have significant swelling throughout the surgical region, especially the belly button.  This is also the point when many people start to be more active, which can temporarily increase the swelling.   Finger tip lymphatic massage in the morning and the evening while you are lying down does help.  I will also have patients tape a small marble or other round object in the belly button to help with shaping if a patient desires a particular shape.  Patience at this point is also critical.  As patients feel progressively better, they want the results to catch up to how they feel.  Just remember, you have about 3-4 more months until you truly have your result.  Never hesitate to ask your surgeon if she/he has any suggestions on how to facilitate your progress, especially if you have a concern. 

3 weeks post op, some advices:

Thank you very much for sharing your concerns with us.
At this point (3 weeks post-po) the swelling is normal.
To reduce it, I recommend you perform daily lymphatic drainage massage therapy over the abdomen and wear a postoperative girdle from thigh to the breasts.
Kind regards,
Dr. Emmanuel Mallol Cotes.-

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Outie not an innie

Thanks for the question and sorry for your distress.  I would have to agree that it is likely swelling, and I would give it some time to resolve.  In the event that it does not get better I would need to know a little more about your surgery.  If you had a classic abdominoplasty where the belly button is brought out through a new hole, then there should be no reason you get an outie.  That is what it appears you had based on your scars.  Sometime we do a limited abdominoplasty and "float" the belly button.  In those case we do not cut around the belly button and bring it out a new hole, rather we detach it at its stalk on the abdominal wall and then suture it back down.  In that circumstance it is possible to go from an innie to an outie if the suture repair did not hold up.  

Hope this helps, hang in there

"The above answer has been given without seeing this patient and cannot be substituted for actual in-person examination and medical advice; it is only opinion. Seek in-person treatment with a trained medical professional for appropriate care."

22 days post op from tummy tuck with muscle repair and breast augmentation. I didn't have an outie belly button before

Thank you for your question and photograph.  I can understand how this has caused you to worry, but this swelling does occasionally occur and will resolve spontaneously given enough time.  Hang in there over the next several weeks you will see steady improvement. 

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 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.