Ask a doctor

Umbilical Float or Full Tummy Tuck for High Belly Button?

I am 110lbs, 5'4" and had twins. I now have a hernia, diastasis, low c-section scar and only a small amount of skin ABOVE my belly button (bb).

I have been on 4 consults and all say I have a high bb. Two would do the umbilical float (because of high bb & little skin) and the other 2 say Full Tummy Tuck.

I am torn. I'd like to do the float b/c for the FTT dr's say I'll need a 2nd vertical scar and a vertical scar (due to lack of skin & low c-sec. scar).

Doctor Answers 25

Floating umbilicus vs full tummy tuck vs hybrid tummy tuck

You have lots of fascial laxity and minimal skin laxity. You are in my opinion a poor candidate for a full tummy tuck because you will get a hip to hip scar just to fix the deep fascia, and that scar will be high and visible.

I hate the umbilical float procedure. It involves cutting off the belly button and moving it lower, then reattaching it. In my opinion, the belly button never looks quite rightl, usually flatt, and often even looks bizarre. While I do not perform the procedure, I have never seen a satisfactory result.

My advice to patients like yourself is to have a hybrid tummy tuck(R). This involves a C-section type scar, and full tightening of the fascia all the way up to the chest, with a small removal of skin. This procedure requires special retractors and sometimes endoscopic equipment. You are the classic candidate for that procedure.

It looks as though you also have a small umbilical lhernia, which should also be repaired.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Floating the umbilicus or full tummy tuck

Looking at your belly, it is obvious that you have a very lax distended fascia which requires tightening. Once this is done, one could appreciate the skin excess. There is a long distance between the belly button and the breast bone and a see some skin laxity. I feel you have adequate amount of skin to do a standard abdominoplasty. When properly done you will have a flat belly, the umbilicus could be placed in it's ideal location and the scar can be placed as low as it needs to be. If necessary there could be a small vertical scar above the pubic scar to close the belly button area but most likely this would not be necessary.

Umbilical Float vs Vertical Scar WITH a Full Tummy Tuck

I think the way to go would be to use your old C section scar through which a full tummy tuck with a complete repair of your rectus muscle separation should be done. This will flatten the tummy and narrow the waist.

You also have a somewhat sagging Mons pubis - I would raise it to a youthful position and secure it to the muscle fascia to prevent more upward pull.

Finally, the decision on FLOAT VS VERTICAL scar should be made at the end of the case once everything else has been achieved based on the best cosmetic appearance.

Good Luck

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Floating umbilicus vs traditional TT

The floating umbilicus is a rare version of a TT. You don't have an easy abdomen but you do have substantial muscle laxity. Once this is proprly tightened, the umbi will rotate down a litle into a more normal position. I'd vote for a conventional TT, possible a slightly higher scar, no vertical scars at all because these look poor.

Tummy tuck after twins

I think your would be a great candidate for a full tummy tuck. However, I would be interested to know how long its been since you have given birth to your twins. It is important for you to have healed from childbirth before embarking on this journey.Swelling from the uterus can take some time to resolve and you wouldn't want to get a tummy tuck while this is still taking place.
However, if adequate time has passed and you have been examined by your plastic surgeon of choice, I recommend a full tummy tuck using your C-section scar, repairing the rectus muscle separation (diastasis) , liposuction to contour, and skin excision to tailor your new form.

Kiran Polavarapu, MD
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Floating abdominoplasty

Floating abdominoplasty uses a small incision in the lower abdomen to allow for the tummy to be tightened and shaped. No incision around the belly button is needed. Through the incision, excess skin is removed and muscles can be tightened. The belly button is temporarily detached during the surgery to allow for this. You experience muscle tightening from sternum to pubic area. After the belly button is reattached (and moved down if necessary) the incisions are sutured. Liposuction can be performed if necessary to eliminate excess fat.

Please see an experienced board certified plastic surgeon for a physical examination to determine which treatment would be most suitable. A floating abdominoplasty may help you. Good luck.

High belly button

I would recommend for my patients a tummy tuck with diastasis repair and umbilical hernia repair if they appeared as you do in this picture.  An umbilical float is a reasonable alternative, but it would not be my first choice. Good luck.

David Stoker, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Full tummy tuck with higher scar better option for high belly button

Thank you for your question. A personal exam and consultation is always best.

That said I do not like the floating belly button technique. In my experience a full tummy tuck with a higher scar and muscle repair is a better option.

Be sure to consult a plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, experienced in your procedure, and who has an excellent reputation in your community.

Full tummy tuck or belly button float ?

When a c section scar is placed extremely low and the patient has a high belly button, she has three options : 1) A conventional abdominoplasty with a small vertical scar to close up the hole after releasing the belly button .  2) Placing a new incision in the bikini line without additional vertical scar. 3) Performing a floating belly button. With any of the above techniques diastasis recti or ventral hernia could be repaired , if necessary. Any of the above options has produced good results in properly selected patients in my practice.    

Fereydoon S. Mahjouri, MD
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Tummy tuck with "umbilical float" San Diego

In agreement with full tummy tuck for the shape you will achieve, my preference over umbilical float is to pull all the way down and in from the sides for the lowest possible scar.  If I cannot get it low enough to cover with your preferred panties without excessive tension, will add a short vertical suprapubic midline component that has never been a problem.  It is so well hidden, and can always be revised in the office if it is visible.  You only show a front view, but appear to have enough peri-umbilical connective tissue compliance that plication of full tummy tuck is absolutely necessary.  Your supra-umbilical skin can sometimes advance a surprising amount, especially once the underlying abdominal wall is tightened.  Another helpful measure is progressive tension sutures intra-operatively to facilitate flap advancement and low scar.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 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.