Patients thinking about getting a tummy tuck at my Sacramento plastic surgery practice often picture themselves with flat stomachs wearing bikinis or maybe shorts with a crop top. Few consider what their bellybuttons are going to look like. Yet this often-overlooked element of tummy tuck procedures requires excellent technique to avoid ending up with a bellybutton that looks unnatural or odd.
A full tummy tuck involves the reshaping and relocation of the bellybutton. The last thing patients want is a circular naval that’s a telltale sign of someone who had tummy tuck surgery.
How Is a Tummy Tuck Performed?
A full tummy tuck removes excess abdominal skin and fat, along with repairing and tightening separated abdominal muscles for many patients. It begins with making a horizontal incision from hip bone to hip bone as low as possible on the abdomen. A second incision around the navel is needed to free it from surrounding tissue.
After pulling down and trimming the excess abdominal skin, the surgeon creates an opening in the skin that’s been pulled tight, ensuring that it appears proportional to the rest of the body.
Is the Bellybutton Involved in a Mini Tummy Tuck?
A mini tummy tuck is appropriate for patients with minimal excess skin and whose concerns are limited to the area below the bellybutton. So, no incision is made around the bellybutton, and it’s not moved or reshaped. Even though a mini tummy tuck is understandably an attractive option for patients, relatively few patients are good candidates for the procedure.
Reshaping the Bellybutton
The bellybutton is a bit like the nose. It attracts attention primarily when it looks odd or unnatural. Creating a natural-looking bellybutton puts the finishing touch on a successful tummy tuck. The placement and shape are both important for surgeons to consider. It shouldn’t be too high or low on the abdomen, and a large, round bellybutton or a slit will also draw unwanted looks. That said, there is no one single standard for how a bellybutton should look. Each patient’s body is different, and good surgeons customize their approach based on the individual.
One common request, especially from women whose bellybuttons became “outies” after pregnancy, is to change the bellybutton to an “innie.”
The best way to gauge the aesthetic quality of bellybuttons created by a plastic surgeon is to view actual patients in before-and-after photos.
If you’re considering a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) and are researching the best plastic surgeons in the Sacramento area, you can contact us to request a consultation using the online form. You can also call us at (916) 929-1833 (Sacramento) or (916) 773-5559 (Granite Bay) to schedule an appointment.