Abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, is a body contouring procedure that is performed to help improve your body’s overall shape and appearance by removing the signs of loose and excess skin from the stomach.
Over time, our skin can become stretched for common reasons such as weight gain or pregnancy. Meanwhile, the muscles beneath the surface can gradually weaken their hold on the skin. When the stomach fluctuates back down, either post-pregnancy or through weight loss, this stretched skin can remain, resulting in the appearance of a sagging stomach. Sometimes, especially in cases of extreme weight loss, the sagging skin can become quite extensive and come with complications such as chafing and other irritations.
Whatever their reasoning, one common question for those who are interested in tummy tuck surgery is, with the skin and stomach muscles being moved around, tightened, and removed, what happens to the belly button?
During your consultation with the plastic surgeon who will be performing your tummy tuck, you’ll go over all the details of the surgery, as well as your goals for the procedure. This can include desiring a different shaped belly button or reversing “outie” belly buttons to “innies.” In cases where the excess skin is from weight fluctuation, your belly button may have a slightly slumped, droopy appearance. Meanwhile, an “innie” belly button can become an outie – this is especially true during cases where the belly button has been pushed out due to pregnancy. In general, a tummy tuck is able to help to sort both of these issues.
How a Tummy Tuck Procedure Is Performed
During the tummy tuck procedure, an incision is made from hip to hip (length varying depending on the patient and intensiveness of the procedure required), and excess skin and tissue are removed. Underlying abdominal muscles are then tightened to help keep the skin tight to the body following the procedure.
Your original belly button is not removed during this procedure; instead, a second incision is made around it, allowing it to be reshaped and repositioned to the optimal location on the torso.
How to Spot the Signs of a Tummy Tuck
The sign of good plastic surgery is that it’s hard to tell you’ve ever had it. This is why it is important to choose an experienced plastic surgeon who has refined skills, is board certified, and has years of proven results, so make sure to do your research before undergoing the knife.
In general, a correctly performed tummy tuck will be hard to determine on a person, as the incisions are usually made below the bathing suit line. However, in cases of belly button repositioning, the secondary incision can be slightly visible. Because they are in a more visible eyeliner, special care is usually taken by the cosmetic plastic surgeon to reduce scaring during recovery and aftercare and to make the incisions in ways to contour and hide it in natural light as much as possible.