The tummy tuck is a truly transformative body contouring surgery. It’s one of those procedures where nothing can match the outcome it delivers—it’s a more invasive surgery than some of the others we perform, but it yields an incredible result that can’t be achieved with any other approach.
The reason it’s so effective is that it can address multiple concerns at different levels: the procedure tightens and eliminates excess sagging skin, removes areas of fat and repairs abdominal muscles that can be damaged during pregnancy and childbirth.
To do this, your surgeon makes an incision just above the pubic area and draws the abdominal skin downward, repairing the muscles and removing excess tissue before closing the incision. And if you come to The Plastic Surgery Clinic, our surgeons will use the progressive tension approach they pioneered (meaning you don’t need drains—more on that here).
But there’s one more thing you’re probably wondering about when it comes to the tummy tuck. If there’s so much going on around the abdomen, where does that leave your belly button?
The belly button, though small, is a surprisingly key feature of your abdomen, so we totally get that at the end of your procedure, you want to be sure your belly button is going to look, if not exactly the same, then definitely still cute. But in expert surgical hands, you can rest assured that your belly button will look better than ever.
Is the Belly Button Removed During a Tummy Tuck?
As with all surgeries, the details of your particular procedure are unique and what might work for you may not be the thing that works for someone else. That’s why our surgeons are always taking a tailored and individualized approach, whether it be for a tummy tuck procedure or any other surgery.
In short, the question about whether your belly button remains intact or is repositioned during a tummy tuck procedure really depends on the specificities of your particular case.
That being said, typically, we always try to keep your original belly button when performing the tummy tuck surgery.
Here’s how our very own Dr. Austin describes what happens to your belly button during a tummy tuck:
“Usually in abdominoplasty we try to save the native belly button. We do cut it free from the skin, then pull everything tight over the top of it. Then we cut a new hole for it to come out through in the skin flap. In some cases, usually when the patient has a large umbilical hernia that has distorted the appearance of the native belly button, or if it is centred right behind the belly button, we need to sacrifice the belly button to reconstruct the hernia. In those cases we need to make a new belly button, a neo-umbilicus, from the skin flap.”
Why does the Belly Button Look Different after Abdominoplasty?
As Dr. Austin noted, it could be that your belly button’s appearance has been distorted. This can happen with pregnancy or weight gain. In some instances, patients will ask the surgeon to create a new belly button, because their “innies” became “outies” during pregnancy, or because they simply want to refine the look of their belly button.
However, even if you’ve had a tummy tuck surgery in which you’ve conserved your original belly button, it may look slightly different due to the skin having been pulled tight over the top of it, or it may be sitting in a slightly different position than before, either higher or lower, depending on what your surgeon has decided would look most natural and fitting on your transformed tummy.
How Your Surgeon Creates a Natural Looking Belly Button
Finessing and creating a natural looking, beautiful belly button, is something of an art and you definitely want to make sure that your surgeon is an expert when it comes to refining the belly button, which can always be seen with before and after photos.
Creating a natural looking belly button is really all in the details. It’s about where your surgeon decides to place the incisions in order to minimize the visibility of any scars and how expertly the area surrounding the belly button is contoured. Every surgeon will have their own specialized approach and techniques when it comes to belly button creation, and it’s always a great idea to discuss these prior to your surgery.
If you have any questions, big or small, about the tummy tuck procedure or belly buttons, don’t hesitate to get in touch.