This is how my belly button looked 3 days after my Tummy Tuck. To me, it appeared large, swollen and ugly. The eight stitches that held it in place protruded from the perimeter like ugly hairs or spider legs. My old “innie” seemed to no longer have a button (hole), but now had a narrow slit as if it were squeezed together from both sides. Fortunately I didn’t have to look at it much because I kept it covered with a bandage per the doctors instructions. I only hoped that it would look better with time.
My Belly Button 3 days after surgery.
What happens To the Belly Button During A Tummy Tuck?
The surgeon makes a long incision extending from hip to hip just above the pubic area. He then makes a second incision completely around the belly button. This separates it from the surrounding skin and tissue. The skin is separated from he abdominal wall exposing the muscles beneath. Unwanted skin is cut away and the muscles are stitched into their new position. A new hole is cut in the remaining refitted skin for the belly button. It is then stitched into place.
My Belly Button Looked Funny After My Tummy Tuck
After my surgery and after the swelling went down, I was surprised to see that my belly button looked to be too narrow and appeared to be more of a slit. I assumed this was due to the connecting skin being pulled tight and I thought it might assume a more rounded appearance with time. It didn’t. For the first few days after surgery I tried stuffing and taping it with cotton balls to make it more round in the hopes that it would stretch out a little and heal that way. I brought this to my surgeons attention during one of my follow-up visits and he indicated that he could make it more rounded with another surgery (umbilicoplasty). I told him I would get back to him on that. I figured I could live with it. Besides it looks fine when I am seated and if I do gain some more weight with the oncoming years it should round out nicely.
3 Days After
Having the stitches removed 15 days after the surgery was no problem. My surgeon just snipped them with a scissor and pulled them out with tweezers. All eight stitches came out nicely and there was no pain or discomfort.
Pain In Belly Button
I should note that in my case I never had any pain or discomfort with this or any part of my operation, or for that matter the entire surgery including recovery. I have read many stories about people having discharge or belly buttons that won’t heal after the surgery. Fortunately I didn’t have those problems.
For the first few weeks following surgery I applied an antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin to my navel and kept it bandaged to aid in the healing and reduce scarring. After the sutures were remove and the wound healed I applied petroleum jelly just to keep the skin in that area supple.
After it healed my belly button looked healthy with no major scars. It just seems to still be a little too tight and too narrow for my taste.
Update: I think now I understand why it is so tight and narrower than I remember. It makes sense. During the surgery, a hole is cut around the button and the skin from above is pulled down tight with a new hole made to re-install it. The “vertical” skin is now very tight and pulls the belly button more from the top and bottom while the side skin remains “relaxed” resulting in an elongated shape after surgery. Also, after further research I found out that many patients are not satisfied with the appearance of their belly button. New techniques have been developed to optimize the appearance of to give it a more natural look. The new technique involves stitching on the “inside” using dissolvable stitches. I understand this results in a more natural appearance.
I found out that if you gain a little weight after your surgery your narrow belly button rounds out and becomes more normal looking.
3 Days After Surgery
1 Year After Surgery
Why is it so large after surgery?
Most likely from swelling. Mine was humongous for a week or so following my surgery. See mine 3 days after my surgery.
Do I need to stretch it out after surgery?
I was told no and that it open up naturally, however after one year I am still waiting. Turned out the only way for me to get it to open up was to gain a few pounds (unfortunately).
Why do I have a red scar around it?
In my case it is just normal scarring from where they stitched it in. Not very noticeable unless you look closely. After one year only half of the scar remains. After two years it’s still there. I believe it will be a permanent scar.
What do they do with the belly button?
Simply put, they cut a ring around the old one, detach it from the surrounding skin and reinstall it into the newly “pulled down” skin.
How many stitches do they use?
For my operation there were eight visible stitches around my BB.
How is it supposed to look after surgery?
It is suppose to look swollen and ugly immediately after surgery. After the stitches are removed and the selling goes down it is suppose to look perfectly normal, but this is not always the case.
After surgery when do stitches come out?
My stitches came out 15 days after surgery.
Are there tummy tucks without removing the belly button?
They don’t remove/relocate them for mini-tummy tucks.
Do I get a new belly button with a tummy tuck?
No. You get your same old one, they just repositions the old one.
How long does it stay red after surgery?
If you are referring to the red incision line, it took mine about three months for the redness to fade. You can see a progression of the healing at tummytuckbeforeandafterpictures.info.
How long does it leak after surgery?
What is leaking? Inside it or at the incision? If you are saying that your incision line is leaking, then it probably should stop in a day or two. Mine did not leak at all.
How do I clean it?
Within a few days of your surgery you should be able to clean it with a Q-tip and a solution of peroxide and water or some type of antiseptic cleaning solution. Be gentle and use great care when cleaning it and the surrounding incision line and stitches.
Should it be covered after surgery?
Yes. Immediately after the surgery it should be covered with a bandage and kept clean.
Should it be hard after surgery?
The incision area likely be hard after the surgery. If you are lucky and don’t form permanent scars the surrounding skin will probably turn soft.
When do you remove stitches?
My stitches were removed 15 days after surgery.
When does it start to look normal again?
It varies greatly for different people but in my case after about 3 months.
Will my belly button look better after a TT?
With luck and a good surgeon it should look the same or better.
Will my belly button stretch to normal after tummy tuck?
I asked my surgeon almost that exact question. He said “Yes” but the was wrong. The only way mine did is after I put on a few pounds.
How long does it take to heal?
You can see a timeline and progression of the healing of my mine at tummytuckbeforeandafterpictures.info.
Tummy Tuck Feedback Messages
The following Reader Comments are relevant to the subject of this page.
To read all Tummy Tuck Feedback click here.
- Infected 3 Weeks After Surgery
- TT BB Is Shrinking
- TT BB Leaking Blood 4 Weeks After Surgery
- Hard Protrusion Below BB After TT
- No Button After TT
- Excess Skin Around BB
- Unhappy With TT BBB
Infected Belly Button
October 7, 2010
I had a tummy tuck 4 months ago and mine still keeps getting infected and leaking smelly brown blood.
Losing A Belly Button During A Tummy Tuck
September 25, 2010
Hi, Just wanted to add my few cents in. I have read some place don’t know were but it stated it is possible to lose it during surgery but it is very very rare.
Button Area Is Hard
May 26, 2010
It has been 13 weeks since my operation and all is fine except my belly button area is hard and a little pooched out plus he didn’t do lipo and I still have love handles. does anyone else have this problem?
No Belly Button After Surgery
March 17, 2010
Actually they can remove the BB. I just left the PS and he told me that my BB won’t make it. I would have to lose it in order to do an abdominoplasty. Also, that it is more common than you would think. I spoke to a friend on the way home and she had known someone who lost theirs.
Response – I never heard that before. My plastic surgeon never even brought up the possibility that could happen. Even if he did, I probably would have still proceeded. Nobody would know I didn’t have one since I have a shirt on 99.99% of the time.
Out of curiosity I did some research and it looks like the actress Patricia Heaton, the wife on the TV show “Everybody Loves Raymond actress” may have lost hers in a tummy tuck too. At least that’s what some web sites imply. Good luck.
March 17, 2010
Thanks! The Victoria’s Secret model Karolina Kurkova lost hers, too. Maybe it’s not so bad!!! Good luck, Christy
BTW, I didn’t realize your forum was for men, my diastasis and umbilical hernia is due to childbirth.
3 Days After Surgery
3 Weeks After Surgery
1 Year After Surgery