Tummy Tuck Mystery - What Happens to the Belly Button

Posted March 22, 2021
Tummy tucks and belly buttons what happens to them

A tummy tuck, which is also known as abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic surgery procedure that removes areas of excess fat and skin and also tightens the muscles in the targeted area. The final result of the surgery is an abdomen that is smoother and firmer in its appearance. One of the main questions that patients often have about the tummy tuck process is what happens to the belly button at the end of the procedure. The first step in having a tummy tuck is gaining a complete understanding of how it is performed and the changes it makes to the body. Cosmetic Town TV tackled the topic of a tummy tuck with this informative video about abdominoplasty:

Tummy Tuck and the Belly Button – See the Connection

During a traditional tummy tuck surgery, an incision is made that goes from one side of the hip to the other side of the hip. This incision also goes around the belly button of the patient in order to reposition the navel (AKA the belly button). This incision is where the excess fat and skin will be removed and any loose muscles will be addressed and sewn together.

The skin that remains in the upper area is lifted and then pulled downward to the lower skin that is located near the pubic bone. This skin is now tightly stretched and the surgeon is able to pick the best position to place the belly button. In many cases, the surgeon will create a new opening for the belly button. This is especially true if the old belly button has a look that has become distorted thanks to excessive weight gain.

If a patient is not happy with the look of their belly button after abdominoplasty, the person might consider undergoing an umbilicoplasty surgery. This is a surgery that is performed to change the look of the belly button.

Tummy Tuck Options

  • A mini-tummy tuck makes changes to the appearance of the abdomen area that is located below the navel
  • An extended tummy tuck is performed on patients with excess fat and skin around the stomach and “love handles” on the sides of the waist
  • An endoscopic tummy tuck is ideal for patients with weak abdominal muscles and little loose skin around the stomach.

Tummy Tuck Recovery

The amount of time it takes to recover from a tummy tuck depends on a number of factors including the type of abdominoplasty performed, the extent of the procedure and the general health of the patient.

There will likely be a drainage tube in place for several days after the surgery to help get rid of excess fluids from the body. During the recovery for a traditional tummy tuck, the patient will need to wear an abdominal belt for around six weeks. The belt or binder is worn tightly around the abdomen in order to support the stomach and also avoid any type of fluid buildup in the area where the surgery was performed.

The doctor will give post-op instructions to follow to properly care for the belly button after the surgery. Patients should be aware of the fact that the area where the surgery was performed might have a swollen look after the surgery. There might also be a “crusty” look to this area and it can take around six months for the belly button to finish healing.

Tummy Tuck Risks and Complications

There are some tummy tuck risks involved with having abdominoplasty surgery. If patients notice any of the following complications, they should contact their doctor:

  • Discharge coming from the navel
  • A belly button that has a look that is either too open or too constricted
  • The belly button has a look that is distorted in appearance
  • There is a “hard” feeling behind the navel

Tummy Tuck Results

As long as the patient follows the post-op instructions set forth by the doctor, the abdomen will enjoy a look at that is toned and smoother in appearance. Patients should also follow a healthy diet and exercise plan as a large weight gain can void the results of the surgery.

In general, the tummy tuck results can last a decade (or even longer). The size of the scars after abdominoplasty depends on the type of tummy tuck technique performed by the surgeon. In general, any scars from tummy tuck surgery become lighter in appearance as the patient recovers from the procedure.

Tummy Tuck Consultation

Patients what want to address a sagging stomach can have a tummy tuck to address the issue of excess fat and skin. Even though it is a good option to tighten muscles that are now loose due to a large weight gain or pregnancy, many people are worried about what will happen to the belly button as part of the procedure.

A consultation appointment should be scheduled with a board-certified surgeon that is experienced in performing abdominoplasty and properly creating a belly button that is natural in appearance. There are times when an incision will be made around the naval so it can be lifted and placed in the appropriate location on the new shape of the stomach. There are also some instances where the surgeon will need to create a new opening for the belly button.

The consultation appointment is the perfect time for the patient to voice any questions or concerns about the tummy tuck process. It is also helpful to view “before and after” photos of actual patients to see the type of results that can be expected from the procedure.

- MA


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