Q: Dr. Eppley, I am going to have a tummy tuck but I have a question about how the belly button is made. Where does it come from? Is made from skin thrown away from the tummy tuck or is it somehow carved out from the stomach wall? Can you explain it to me how you do it?
A: The belly button is nothing more than a remnant or stalk of scar tissue from the skin down to the abdominal wall. It is never removed during a tummy tuck but rather the skin around it is. The stalk of the belly button is always preserved, it is the loose skin around it and any extra length of oys stalk that is removed. The shortened stalk of the belly button is simply put back by bringing it through the abdominal skin that has been brought down and tightened over it. Reshaping of the belly button is almost always done whether it is shortened or not. The key to a good looking belly button result in a tummy tuck is to shorten it so that the outer skin dips in, the surrounding scar is on the inside, and it has more of a vertical rather than a round shape.It is always better to have a smaller belly button than a larger one as a result of a tummy tuck.
Dr. Barry Eppley