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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 26

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 118 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 81 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.

Not uncommon for a mother of twins...

The abdominal wall contour can undergo significant changes when women have twins.Under these circumstances, it’s not unusual for women to develop loose excess skin, weakened muscles, fat accumulation and stretch marks.It’s important to realize that no two patients are ever exactly the same and for this reason it’s important to individualize care.
Although it’s hard to make a specific recommendation without a physical examination, your history and pictures suggest several problems.It appears that you have a high umbilicus and a low C- section scar in the presence of weakened muscles and a small umbilical hernia.These anatomic findings significantly limit treatment options.In your case three options exist, an umbilical float abdominoplasty, traditional full abdominoplasty with a high incision or a vertical incision with a traditional abdominoplasty.
The choice of procedure not only depends upon your anatomic findings, but your aesthetic goals as well.The umbilical float procedure can be utilized, but in many cases results in distortion of the umbilicus with a shallow unnatural appearance.This procedure also limits the ability to perform secondary procedures if they should become necessary.
For these reasons, the majority of plastic surgeons would recommend a variant of the full abdominoplasty.In most cases, surgeons would fix the umbilical hernia and tighten the muscles and reassess the skin laxity.In rare cases, enough excess skin might be present to perform a traditional abdominoplasty through the C-section scar, while in other cases a vertical incision might be used.
It’s important to realize that the specific procedure chosen will depend upon the patient’s anatomic findings, aesthetic concerns and intra-operative factors.For these reasons, it’s critical that patients thoroughly discuss their options with their surgeon, so they have a complete understanding of their options.

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 22 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 29 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 16 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.