Besides being asked occasionally about whether you have an “innie” or an “outie,” most of us rarely think about our belly button’s appearance. For the record, only about 10% of people have an outie. For patients getting a tummy tuck, though, the belly button is a central part of the procedure.
In this blog post, I’ll explain what happens to a belly button during an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck surgery) and discuss how plastic surgeons reposition and reshape the navel.
Why Is the Belly Button Involved in a Tummy Tuck?
The procedure begins with making an incision as low as possible on the abdomen so it can be concealed with a bikini bottom. Because the excess skin is pulled down and removed during the procedure, the surgeon makes an incision around the belly button to free the skin. It remains attached to the stalk, but the surgeon needs to create a notch where the belly button will appear after the surgery.
How Is the Belly Button Reshaped?
Your surgeon will take great care in positioning the belly button where it will look natural, ensuring it doesn’t appear too round or too narrow (as you can see in the real patient photos below).
One of the tell-tale signs of a poor tummy tuck outcome is when the belly button (umbilicus) looks unnatural after being repositioned. The plastic surgeon’s goal should be to make the position proportional (neither too high nor too low) and to keep the navel relatively small while avoiding a circular scar. The scar should be kept internal.
Even an otherwise successful tummy tuck can be marred by a navel that doesn’t look natural. For patients who want to change outies to innies, that can be incorporated as part of the procedure.
Is the Belly Button Always Part of a Tummy Tuck?
When the aesthetic concern is limited to the area below the belly button, a mini tummy tuck may be an appropriate surgical approach. Relatively few tummy tuck patients are good candidates for this technique. In a mini tummy tuck, the surgeon makes a shorter incision along the abdomen. No incision around the navel is needed. Patients can discuss this option during the consultation.
Seeing more tummy tuck patient results really drives home how physically transformative this procedure can be for both women and men.
Who Can Benefit From a Tummy Tuck?
The goal of a tummy tuck is to create a flatter, more toned stomach for patients who have excess skin following pregnancy or some other significant weight loss. Both women and men can get tummy tucks, but the most common patient is a woman who has had children. Patients often combine it with liposuction or other procedures. You can learn more about tummy tuck options and recovery in our related blog post.
Schedule a Consultation
If you’re looking in the Richmond, VA, area for a plastic surgeon to perform a tummy tuck, you can contact us using the online form to request a consultation or call us at (434) 924-1234 to schedule an appointment.