When I assess tummy tuck results, I look at the umbilicus or belly button first. You should too. It is the hardest part of the operation, and the epicenter of the tummy tuck universe. Any fool can whack out loose skin and close. A host of non-plastic surgeons succeed on that front, including family docs, ER docs, OB docs, Dermatologists, and General Surgeons. Where most fail is the belly button. A circular or oval scar visible on the skin surface is the first sign of a bad tummy tuck:
Creating a natural looking belly button takes years of training coupled with artistic skill.
The typical plastic surgeon trains for between 5-10 years depending on the path they take. Beyond that, God-given artistic skill varies just as ability varies among athletes. Some are better than others. Add to that patient variables such as scarring, and creating a nice belly button can be formidable!
What are the features of a well-executed “neo-umbilicus”? First, for women, an attractive and youthful belly button is a gentle, vertically oriented oval. With pregnancy and age, belly buttons tend to become more round and horizontal. Second, it should be concave or invaginated and not flat. Third, the scar itself should be buried and not visible. A visible belly button scar defeats the purpose of a tummy tuck in my opinion.
I put a lot of psychic energy into creating a natural looking belly button. Is everyone perfect? No. Some are better than others. However, most are better than average, and I keep striving for perfection! When it comes time to choose a plastic surgeon to perform your tummy tuck, zoom in on their belly button results.