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Q. Presence of shrinkage of belly button and discoloration after tummy tuck surgery. Please help.

Answered by
Dr. Pavan N Murdeshwar
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 13, 2019

Hello doctor,

I had a full tummy tuck. Everything went well from that surgery. However, my belly button was closing and it closed almost to the point where I could not fit even a Q-tip in it. Two months back, I had revision surgery on my belly button to open it up. The doctor indicated that he opened it up wide enough due to the fact that he expected shrinkage. I feel again that my belly button is shrinking to the point of abnormalcy. I did see my doctor twice since my revision surgery and each time he seemed to be satisfied with the results. But, now I have not seen him again for six weeks. The area surrounding my belly button is discolored. I clearly have scarring. And, I just think it looks terrible and clearly indicates that I have had some type of surgery. Any suggestions or observations would be appreciated not only for the belly button itself but also for the discoloration.

Dr. Pavan N Murdeshwar

Cosmetology General Surgery Plastic Surgery – Reconstructive And Cosmetic


Welcome to

First of all, I think the tummy tuck has come out well. The belly button however if it was not properly shaped during the initial procedure, then it was definitely a good decision to revise it after a few months. Right now, I feel that the skin is still in the healing phase. Given that it was a revision surgery, it will take a little longer to heal than a normal period of two months. Also, it depends upon the umbilical stalk length, that how long it will take for the surrounding induration and hence the discoloration to settle down. So for now, it is better to wait and watch.

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Thank you doctor,

From what I was told, upon revision, he was able to pull my original belly button or stalk back through and use that (if that makes any sense because it does not to me). Is there anything I should be applying to it to help with the healing process or discoloration?

Dr. Pavan N Murdeshwar

Cosmetology General Surgery Plastic Surgery – Reconstructive And Cosmetic


Welcome back to

Yes, that definitely makes sense. The belly button stalk which was retracted initially might have been pulled back and made into the new belly button. However, the handling itself makes it longer to heal. Right now, if you can get it then I can suggest using some mild antibiotic (Mupirocin or Nanocrystalline silver based) ointment in the region, regularly for the inflammation to settle down. After that, (2 to 3 months from the last surgery date) you can use some scar reducing cream such as Cicatrix with regular massage. That should give you an acceptable result.

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