What Happens to Your Belly Button During a Tummy Tuck?

Dr. David Stoker

What a belly button typically looks like after a tummy tuck

Tummy tucks are well-known for their ability to produce a toned, contoured stomach. But moving the skin and tightening muscle can have an unintended side effect: changing how your belly button looks.

One of the easiest ways to spot a low-quality tummy tuck is an unnatural-looking bellybutton. Without attentive care and proper techniques, it can become weirdly shaped or seem “misplaced” on the body. My tummy tuck patients in Los Angeles know they can trust me to create a flattering, natural-looking belly button. But how exactly does a belly button “change?” And what does the process involve?

What exactly happens during surgery?

During a tummy tuck, the surgeon creates a horizontal incision that connects from hip to hip. This incision allows surgeons to remove excess skin and repair abdominal muscles. A small cut is also made around the belly button itself, although the stalk the bellybutton is attached to remains untouched. As excess skin is pulled downward and removed, a new opening for the belly button is created. The bellybutton stalk is placed through this opening and carefully sewn into place.

How do you create a natural-looking result?

An attractive result is all about the details. To create a natural-looking belly button, it’s important to be careful with incision placement and fat contouring. Your surgeon can prevent noticeable scarring by hiding incisions along the belly button’s inner edge. The soft tissues around the area also need to be carefully sculpted to create a gentle inset on the proper section of the body.

Can you ask your doctor to change your belly button?

Yes! People might want their belly buttons changed for a variety of reasons. Sometimes moms watch their “innie” become an “outie” during pregnancy. Or sometimes people lose a lot of weight and watch their belly button become “slumped” in the process. No matter the reason, discuss your options with your surgeon. They can create a new shape or placement that works for you.

I personally have developed my own special technique for creating a new belly button during a tummy tuck. I use a crescent-shaped skin excision to create an upper fold of skin, such as found on regular belly buttons. I also carefully bury any external sutures so that the stitch marks are not visible. These details and others can produce a beautiful outcome that complements your brand-new stomach.

Whether you want to slim your figure or change your belly button, a tummy tuck can give you a satisfying result. Browse our before-and-after gallery to see what a tummy tuck has done for other patients. If you’re considering treatment or have any other questions, contact our practice using the online form or by calling (310) 300-1779 to schedule an appointment.

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