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Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Surgery: Belly Button Necrosis Explained

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Surgery: Belly Button Necrosis Explained

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) surgery removes any excess stretched skin and the unwanted band of fat from the lower abdomen, whilst repairing any hernias and realigning the muscles into their normal position, creating a flatter, firmer and overall more desirable abdomen! 

This cosmetic and functional procedure can be effective in reducing the bulge caused by excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen. Whilst this is a cosmetic procedure it can also be reconstructive,  to correct unwanted abdominal changes caused by pregnancy, obesity, excessive weight loss or trauma. 

In rare cases, after undergoing tummy tuck surgery, complications may occur. Aside from the normal and expected initial scarring and pain that can be easily managed with medication, one of the more common problems is belly button necrosis; explained below. 

BB Clinic’s Specialist Surgeon, Dr Yunaev and his team are well-trained and operate in a high-quality facility, taking every precaution to ensure that risk levels are as low as possible as the safety of our patients is our primary concern.

If, after reading, you are concerned about belly button necrosis we recommend contacting our team and booking a consultation today.

What is belly button necrosis?

Necrosis means tissue death, it’s essentially when your belly button tissue dies. It can be a rare occurrence as part of tummy tuck surgery. 

Moving an umbilicus during abdominoplasty

Your blood supply to the umbilicus comes from both the surrounding abdominal skin as well as from the abdominal muscle layer. These two blood supplies are termed superficial and deep.

During most tummy tuck procedures, the belly button will be cut down to the abdominal wall. This disconnects the blood supply from the abdominal skin (superficial) and isolates the belly button’s blood supply from the muscle layer (deep). 

Inadequate deep blood supply to an umbilicus

The deep blood supply to your belly button can be reduced in a few ways. The most common is the use of the belly button as an access port for other general surgical procedures you may have undergone in the past. 

A second reason that the deep blood supply to your belly button can be reduced, is if a hernia is found. 

Hernias can be in combination with the scarring from past keyhole surgery, which is a double whammy for the umbilical blood supply! 

Sometimes a hernia will not be repaired at the same time as performing the tummy tuck surgery simply because there’s an increased risk of belly button necrosis – which we try to avoid! 

What can be done to salvage an umbilicus?

The amount of risk to your belly button’s blood supply can be determined during your surgery.  If the belly button seems to be in trouble during your operation, we can loosen the repair of any nearby hernias.

Should the belly button look like it is going to recover, it will be inserted normally to finish the surgery. But if in the rare case, the belly button dies, the wound is dressed until it heals. Your belly button may go through a phase where the outer layer of skin dies off and it heals from the deeper layers of skin.

Dr Yunaev: Specialist Breast and General Surgeon

If you think you have umbilical necrosis, you should book a consultation with your surgeon as soon as possible. 

Dr Yunaev, Principal Doctor at Breast & Body Clinic, has extensive experience in tummy tuck and body surgery. Taking a patient-centred and supportive approach to consultations, he can tailor a plan for your revision procedure to your personal needs and goals. 

For more information on tummy tuck surgery or belly button necrosis, or to book a consultation, contact our team today. 

Have a question for Dr Yunaev on this procedure?

Your question will be answered within 24 hours by Dr Yunaev; a Specialist Breast and General Surgeon with extensive training and experience.

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  • Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)  Surgery: Belly Button Necrosis Explained
  • Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)  Surgery: Belly Button Necrosis Explained
  • Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)  Surgery: Belly Button Necrosis Explained
  • Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)  Surgery: Belly Button Necrosis Explained

“My team and I are committed to tailoring a personalised approach to you and your concerns so that you may benefit from our expertise and we can meet your expectations.” Dr Michael Yunaev
MS (Breast Surgery), BreastSurgANZ Breast Fellow, Aesthetic Breast and Body Fellow, FRACS (General Surgery), MPH, BMedSc (Hons).