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Options for Removing Loose Skin Above the Belly Button?

I have 2 children by C Section. Now I have loose skin above my belly button, not below. I am thin but have diastasis. I was informed by a plastic surgeon that because my skin is now loose above my belly button, I am not a good candidate for a traditional Tummy Tuck. What are my options for removing the loose skin?

Doctor Answers 11

Tummy tuck is probably the best option

I would respectfully disagree with the plastic surgeon you saw-- I don't think there is a better optionin these circumstances other than a tummy tuck. There are some folks who would instead perform a "reverse" tummy tuck, where they make incisions underneath your breasts, remove excess skin and then pull the skin up to sew it closed, but I think a traditional incision, low in the underwear line, works perfectly well and will give a natural durable result, even in cases where the primary issue is above the level of the belly button.

Hope that helps!

Dr. S

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 112 reviews

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You are probably a good candidate for a tummy tuck

Whether your skin is loose above or below your belly button, a tummy tuck can fix it. Of course, the surgeon would need to examine you to tell for sure, but just because the skin is loose above the belly button does not mean that you cannot have a tummy tuck. During the procedure we lift all the skin off your muscles to the level of the ribs and then pull it down and make a new belly button. So if there is enough loose skin, the procedure will work well. I would suggest that you get a second opinion with another plastic surgeon who may have more experience doing abdominoplasties (tummy tucks).

Good luck.

David Shafer, MD
Shafer Plastic Surgery
New York City

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Reverse abdominoplasty may be an option

Loose skin above the belly button is a common problem and traditionally a standard abdominoplasty is the best option. However, if the skin in the lower abdomen is reasonably tight and smooth, an option known as a "reverse abdominoplasty" is sometimes a choice worth considering.

In this case, the incision is placed at the crease along the bottom of the breasts and the skin is lifted rather than pulled down as in a standard tummy tuck. This version tightens the upper abdomen but has minimal effect on the lower half.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

A tummy tuck is the only answer for you

With a diastasis and loose skin above the umbilicus, you need a tummy tuck, plain and simple. No other treatment addresses these issues. The only confounding variable is just how much skin excess you have and how far down your scar can be placed. But a tummy tuck is what you need!

No good answer for this problem other than an abdominoplasty

Loose skin above the umbilicus is a tough problem, especailly if you are trying to aviod a formal tummy tuck procedure. The skin of the upper abdomen is tethered between two fixed points, the ribs and the umbilicus. In order to untether this area, the umbilicus needs to be moved.

In the past, a reverse abdominoplasty was an option. This was done by making incisions under each breast in the natural crease. This is an operation that I would not recommend.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Loose skin above the umbilicus?


Loose skin above the umbilicus is a tough problem. If its not much--a subq laser combined with a topical Rf laser may help mild to moderate wrinkles but will take 6 mo-1 year to show final effect

Hope this helps


Dr Jeneby

Benefits of a full tummy tuck

Due to pregnancy, many women experience muscle diastasis and loose stretched skin in the abdominal region. The good news is that a full tummy tuck can help improve your tummy by repairing the muscles and removing the loose excess skin.

Abdominoplasty results in a flatter and tighter tummy. Many can benefit greatly from the procedure. Recovery requires a patient to stay hunched over for 1 month to avoid any complications and superficial openings. An abdominal binder is worn to minimize swelling and support the incision for a month as well.

For more information, check out before and after photos of patients. Find a board certified plastic surgeon to perform your surgery.

Loose skin around belly button

Loose skin around the belly button is very difficult to treat without performing a full tummy tuck. I have yet to see a good periumbilical skin excision with a good scar and result.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

How to fix loose skin around belly button

Hi Mommy x 2,

It depends on how much loose skin there is. The 2 options are an umbilical float procedure and a skin tightening procedure such as Thermage or Titan. If you simply have some loose skin around the belly button, Thermage/Titan alone might work. If there is more skin that is loose, you could have an umbilical float. In this type of procedure, the surgeon cuts the base of the belly button and simply lowers it about 1-2 cm. This allows the upper abdominal skin to be "pulled tighter".

Very few women are candidates for this, but if you are, BONUS! You will avoid the tell tell tummy tuck sign of a scar around the belly button. The surgeon can also repair the diastasis during this type of procedure. Obviously, Thermage and Titan will not repair the diastasis. Procedures that involve making an incision around the belly button only to remove the excess will not work and will result in a poor scar. Hope this helps.

Tracy Pfeifer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

These are the perfect indications for a full tummy tuck

I am a little confused by your remarks.

Typcially, loose skin above the belly button, a rectus diastasis, and a C-section scar are the ideal indications for a full tummy tuck.

However, they are poor indications for a mini-tummy tuck, which will not treat the upper abdominal skin nor the full diastasis.

Although the Reverse Tummy tuck is an option, it will not sufficiently treat your diastasis.

Please confirm this with your surgeon.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.