Behind liposuction and breast augmentation, the tummy tuck is the most popular procedure among our patients. Today, we’d like to look at the tummy tuck in detail, and how it differs from other strategies to flatten the tummy. We’ll also discuss how, exactly, a tummy tuck affects… your belly button!
Why Get a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck removes fat and excess skin from the abdomen. While liposuction is less invasive and also removes fat, it can only tighten flabby skin so far. Patients who have undergone substantial weight loss, or whose skin has stretched beyond the point where it can easily spring back, cannot attain an entirely flat stomach with liposuction alone. Only a tummy tuck can achieve that.
“If you don’t care how invasive the procedure is and just want the best results you can get, you’re a great candidate for a tummy tuck.”
Whether you choose liposuction or a tummy tuck will depend on how you weigh invasiveness vs results. If you don’t care how invasive the procedure is and just want the best results you can get, you’re a great candidate for a tummy tuck. If you are reluctant to undergo surgery and might be satisfied with less-dramatic results, then liposuction may be the better alternative.
Liposuction is so popular because it removes fat and basically leaves no scars at all. The fat is flushed out by inserting a tiny cannula under the skin, but these incisions are very small and minor.
A tummy tuck, on the other hand, cannot be done without a scar. This scar can be quite wide, spanning from one side of the belly to the other. However, for many women (and men!), the resulting scar is a small price to pay for a beautiful new flat tummy. What’s more, this scar is typically positioned under the belt- or bikini line. You’ll be able to show off your new body in a swimsuit without any visible signs that you had anything done.
Why You May Want a New Belly Button
However, a tummy tuck accomplishes more than just a flat tummy.
As the midsection expands, whether as a result of pregnancy and childbirth or another form of weight gain, that person’s belly button also changes its appearance. Instead of round and tight, the belly button can become undefined, shift its location, or disappear altogether.
“Imagine the surprise when you have a tummy tuck and realize that you’ll likely get a new belly button too!”
Since this usually happens gradually over time, we tend to forget about our belly button. We think of it as something that’s always been there. Imagine the surprise when you have a tummy tuck and realize that you’ll likely get a new belly button too!
When a plastic surgeon performs a tummy tuck, a key part of ensuring a beautiful result is to “repair” the belly button so that it looks aesthetically pleasing. You may have heard of a “designer belly button.” To perform a tummy tuck for the sole purpose of getting yourself a designer belly button would be an overkill, so the term is a bit misleading. But it’s certainly a good idea to speak to your plastic surgeon before the procedure about the preferred placement and shape of your new belly button.
Before your tummy tuck, especially if you have a lot of excess skin, your belly button may be enlarged. It might be elongated and look more like a slit, or it might be entirely invisible because the surrounding skin covers it up.
Moving the Belly Button During Tummy Tuck Surgery
During a tummy tuck, your plastic surgeon makes a small incision around the belly button, leaving it attached to the abdominal wall underneath. He can now pull the released skin tight and remove any underlying fat. Once the stomach is completely flat with tightened skin, the surgeon repositions the belly button to the most aesthetically pleasing location and reattaches it to the skin.
While it’s easy to hide the resulting stitches under the folds of the belly button, shaping and positioning it correctly requires the touch of a skilled plastic surgeon.
If you only have a small amount of loose skin, your belly button may already look close to normal. In that case, your surgeon may opt to simply remove some layers of fat without the need to repair any muscles or reposition the belly button. This is also referred to as a “mini tummy tuck.” Mini tummy tucks typically can be accomplished with a smaller scar than a full tummy tuck.
Are you unhappy with the look of your belly button? If so, you may be surprised what a tummy tuck can do for you.
In a way, the belly button is the crown jewel of your tummy tuck surgery. Even though it may not have been the reason you elected to have surgery, you’ll definitely leave your doctor’s office with a beautiful new belly button!