Can my Abdominoplasty Be Done Primarily Through my Belly Button?

After a twin pregnancy (I stayed in shape and have gotten back my prepreg weight) I have relatively severe diastasis recti and a herniated belly button. Also, the skin surrounding my belly button is distorted and stretched out. I know that the common procedure for repair is an incision from hip to hip. I am not opposed to the scar but would like my excess skin to be removed around my belly button so that the damaged skin is removed and not the good skin between my hip bones. Is this possible?

Doctor Answers 18

Tummy tuck cannot be done through bellybutton

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Thank you for your question. You will need a full tummy tuck to remove the excess skin that is troubling you. To attempt removing the skin through the belly button incision would create a horrible scar and be unsuccessful.

Tummy tuck through belly button scar

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Dear 5697anon:  After having experimented with skin removal through a belly button scar on several fit and deserving patients, I can emphatically say, the answer is NO.  Judging from your photo, you are in great shape and should have an outstanding result from conventional abdominoplasty.  Your umbilical hernia, common in mothers of multiples, will be fixed as part of the tummy tuck procedure.  The low abdominal scar will become a non-issue, obscured by your beautiful new body.  Just be sure you are are through with child bearing before proceeding, and if you smoke, stop at least one month in advance.

Best, Steve Laverson, MD

Belly button abdominoplasty not a possibility

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Your suggestion is a very good idea but just not possible. A hernia repair can be done through a small umbi scar, and a diastasis repair through a larger one, but trying to remove skin centrally and close it up results in a lot of bunching up. The idea is similar to a Benelli breast lift, which has a larger diamter circle which is a very important difference.

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Abdominoplasty and improvement of the appearance of the belly button

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In order for you to have the best outcome you will need a full abdominoplasty with the hip to hip incision.In the performance of a full abdominoplasty, an incision is made from one hip to the other. The incision is carried through the skin and fat layer and stops at the muscle layer. At this level the skin and fat layer is elevated off of the underlying muscle layer. This elevation is continued up to the belly button. An incision is then made around the belly button to keep it in it's normal location allowing the skin and fat layer to continue to be elevated up to the rib margin. Very often tightening of the muscle layer is then accomplished before removing the excess skin. The loose skin and fat layer is then pulled down snugly and the excess skin and fat is then removed. The belly button has not been moved or removed. It is still in it's normal location underneath the skin and fat layer. An incision is made over the belly button and it is pulled up to the surface and re-stitched in it's original location. In your case the skin that is currently around your belly button very likely be completely removed and your belly button will come out through a new skin incision. Should result in a nice appearance of your belly button.

My simple and illustrated video may help you--learn more about tummy tucks and other body contouring procedures.

Full tummy tuck would probably be better for you

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Unfortunately, doing this would leave you with more noticeable irregular scarring and bunched up skin. You would probably get results that better match your expectations with a full tummy tuck. Please see an experienced board certified plastic surgeon to confirm which treatment would be most suitable for you.

No, an abdominoplasty can not be done through an umbilical incision

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Your idea is appealing but it is just not a good idea.  A hernia repair can be done through a small umbilical scar but trying to remove skin centrally and close it up results in a lot of bunching up of the skin toward the middle and will not look good.  . 

Periumbilical tummy tuck

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 No.  Stick with the standard, low positioned scar with your tummy tuck and with your body, it should be a knockout.

  Don't cut corners.  You will get a corner cut crappy result.

      Steven M. Lynch, M.D.

Will A Circumumbilical Skin Resection Give Me A Good Tummy Tuck?

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Thank you for this excellent question.  Basically, what you are asking is can you imbricate all the loose skin around the belly button on a post pregnancy abdomen to give you an abdominoplasty similar to the curcumareolar breast lift described by Louis Benelli.  Unfortunately, the answer is NO. 

I have seen several patients who had attempted circum umbilical abdominoplasties with unfortunate and very unattractive results. 

Can my Abdominoplasty Be Done Primarily Through my Belly Button?

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The have a great deal of excess skin. There is no way to adequately redrape and remove this extra skin through an incision in the belly button alone.  It is most effectively redraped inferiorly through an incision beneath a bathing suit line (the "hip to hip" you describe, although the actual length depends on how much loose skin you have).  the stretched out belly button is made smaller and brought through a new smaller opening as the skin is pulled over the BB, and your diastasis or muscle separation is repaired prior to closure.  If you have an umbilical hernia, as it appears you may, then it is repaired at the same time to give you a natural looking "inny".  Any attempt to remove all of this extra skin by gathering it into the belly button hole will give you a deformity for which there is no good correction.

Belly Button Abdominoplasty

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Abdominoplasty by removing skin from around the belly button has been described. The results don't  look good,  and the problems from them are hard, if not impossible to fix.

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.