At my plastic surgery practice in Nashville, I see a lot of prospective tummy tuck patients. Throughout the process of planning their surgeries, we cover a lot of ground — from muscular repair to incision placement. But when you think about it, the belly button is really the focal point of your new midsection, and it deserves special attention to ensure it looks its best.
Before we get into the specifics around the navel, let’s briefly refresh ourselves on what exactly a tummy tuck entails. Rather than just reducing excess fat around the abdomen, a tummy tuck goes deeper by removing the sagging skin responsible for a “belly pooch.” It also repairs separated muscles in the abdominal wall (if present), which can become stretched by pregnancy and other events. It’s important to improve the appearance of the belly button as well as the rest of the abdomen in order to keep things looking smooth, toned, and natural. See the patient before-and-after image below, where the belly button has been placed smoothly and naturally.
So, what happens to the navel?
For many tummy tuck patients, the belly button remains right where it is on the abdominal wall. After I remove excess skin, I make a small hole in the remaining skin and pull the belly button through. Although this does require an incision, it isn’t typically very visible after surgery since it’s hidden inside the navel itself. This allows me to reshape it, improving the contour so that it appears harmonious with the newly reshaped abdomen.
It may be a small part of the body, but a beautiful belly button can be the difference between results that are just satisfactory and results that are truly great.