Dr Michael Kelly

Dear Doctor Kelly:

I want a tummy tuck done because I hate my stretch marks, but when I go to the beach, I can always tell if someone had a tummy tuck because their belly button looks fake. Why can’t the belly button be made more realistic?

This is a common misconception I hear about many aspects of plastic surgery: “I can always tell when someone had a tummy tuck because the belly button looks fake.” “I can always tell when someone had a breast augmentation…” “I can always tell when someone has fillers in their face…”

My short answer is “No you can’t!” People think that when they see an obvious, bad cosmetic result, that all results look like that. They couldn’t be more wrong. Just because you can tell when someone was overdone, doesn’t mean that you can tell when they were done right.

Think about the red carpet at the Oscars. Sure you notice the stars that had bad surgery or bad injectables. But does that mean that the ones who look good didn’t have anything done? Do you think they are all just “natural” beauties? I can assure you they are not. They all have injectables and surgery. The difference is that their procedures were done well and they were not overdone. In cosmetic surgery and injectables, if a little is good, more is not better. The same thing is true with belly buttons after tummy tucks. My patients always compliment me on their belly button after surgery. They tell me how they can go to the beach, wear a 2-piece, and it looks completely natural.

The secret is technical, the belly button can’t be too big and the stitches need to be inside so they don’t leave marks. Get your Tummy Tuck done, but ask the surgeon to show you pictures of his or her results before you decide to have surgery. Choose a surgeon with natural looking belly buttons and you will be happy. See you on the beach!

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