Can belly button be lowered more after umbilical float if it wasn't lowered enough the first time? What are my options? (Photo)

I'm 3 wks PO from floating TT w/ MR . My PS was worried about necrosis of my bb due to a hernia & also a 2" cholecystectomy scar and said the float was safer/i didnt have enough skin to advance down for a full TT without a significant vertical scar. The scar didnt bother me but the necrosis scared me into the float. I know it is early, but is there any chance this wrinkling above my bb will smooth out or will it get worse as the swelling goes? It doesnt seem like my bb was moved low enough.

Doctor Answers 4

Can belly button be lowered more.

Some do consider the umbilicus a movable landmark and there is much written about an umbilical "float" to move it lower and reduce skin laxity above. If we see the abdomen in this way you can of course move it lower if you wish. Our opinion is that anatomy and aesthetics dictate just where the umbilicus is to be located, and for those with significant laxity above, a full tummy tuck is probably a better option.


Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Can a "floated" belly button be lowered after a Modified or Mini-Abdominoplasty

A Modified or Mini-Abdominoplasty focuses on the lower part of the abdomen, and sometimes the upper abdomen is not completely addressed with this operation. A significant amount of skin laxity above the belly button cannot always be completely tightened with this operation, as "floating" a belly button too low looks very strange and cannot be fixed. Your belly button should be level with the top of your pelvic bones above your hips (you can put your hands on your sides and feel the top of the pelvic bones) and this can be checked in a mirror by standing very straight and looking at the height of your belly button as compared to your pelvic bones. I would suggest waiting several months to see how your skin naturally contracts after your surgery and then discuss your concerns with your Plastic Surgeon and look at your before and after photos.

Douglas Leppink, MD
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Can belly button be lowered more after umbilical float if it wasn't lowered enough the first time?

You still seem to have a significant amount of loose skin and I am not sure that floating the belly button lower will help much. I think that your best option is going to be to wait for approximately 6 months and if you are still not happy at that point, you should consider having a revision. An in-person consult will be necessary, but I suspect that you will either need to convert to a traditional abdominoplasty and cut around the belly button (this is possible to do after a previous umbilical float if you wait long enough) or just have the belly button removed. I have had good success converting these to a traditional tummy tuck when I revise patients who have had previous umbilical floats. The worst case scenario is that the umbilicus necroses and has to be debrided. The wound will heal on its own and often looks like a belly button indentation once healed.

Moving the belly button after tummy tuck

Anatomically, the belly button is typically at the same level as the top of your pelvic bones laterally.  Look in a mirror and put your hands on your hips.  Feel the top of your pelvic bones and put a finger on each side.  If the belly button is at that same level, then it hasn't been moved.  In that case, it could definitely move down lower.  I always try to pull the skin as tight as possible; even if it means having to scrap the belly button and make a new one later.  I've never had anyone complain about a tight belly!

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.