Is Belly Button Surgery the Answer? (photo)

I originally thought that getting a tummy tuck would fix my defect in my belly button and diastsis recti but I went to a plastic surgeon who suggested an umblicalplasty instead because he said my diastsis was not that bad and he could reshape my belly button. I am worried about the scar and was wondering if you have any feedback on what would be the best solution to my terrible defect.

Doctor Answers 13

Tummy Tuck vs. Umbilicalplasty - Which Is Best For Me?

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There is a 100% consensus among your Real Self Board Certified plastic surgeons.  We all agree a tummy tuck would give you the best, most complete, long lasting surgical results.  A tummy tuck will get rid of most, if not all, of your loose skin, get rid of all of your rectus diastasis, and allow your surgeon to bring your belly button out through new, unoperated skin, with the scar hidden in the depth of the umbilicated belly button.  All in all, I think your first inclination to get a tummy tuck was correct.

Please seek consultations from multiple Board Certified plastic surgeons, certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. 

Belly button

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Your photos show that you are an excellent candidate for a tummy tuck.  The only way to,know if you have a diastasis would be to examine you in person.  Whether a diastasis is treated or not will have no bearing on what is done with the belly button.  It would involve a scar around the belly button and might be reduced slightly.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Tummy Tuck!

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I would guess you won't get what you want with unbilicoplasty...I find tummy tucks to have a HUGE satisfaction rate...I think (given the limitations of this forum) youlook like a GREAT tummy candiadate!

Michael E. Decherd, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Tummy Tuck Allows Repair of the Belly Button

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Most women after tummy tuck are very pleased that the belly button looks more youthful and attractive.  This is because in a tummy tuck, the most common technique that we use allows tight and healthy skin to be redraped in the belly button area.  The loose skin which may contain stretch marks is lowered and aften removed.  The belly button can be made smaller if it is enlarged and more proportional to the more youthful figure.  In the case you have shown, you would benefit from a tummy tuck to tighten the skin, create a tighter appearance of your abdominal muscles, and to give a smaller and more aesthetic belly button.

Stephen Bresnick, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Umbilical surgery.

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Thanks for your question.  The second photo you show illustrates a significant amount of loose/redundant tissue.  I don't think you will be ultimately happy with only an umbilical procedure.  I think the only way for you to really address all of the loose skin is with some type of tummy tuck.  An umbilical procedure will only correct a fraction of the overall issue.

Shaun Parson, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Abdominoplasty would give a more comprehensive result

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As mentioned by my collegues, it is impossible to give detailed advice without an in-person consultation, but as you have noted, there appears to be more about the appearance of your abdomen that is concerning to you than your umbilicus.  An abdominoplasty focuses on correcting rectus diastasis and comprehensively reshaping the absomen.  In reshaping the abdomen as a whole, the appearance of the umbilicus is often significantly improved.  Though abdominoplasty is a more substantial procedure, it seems likely to give you a more favorable result in the long term.  For more detailed advice, I would recommend seeing another board certified plastic surgeon in your area.

Umbilicoplasty would (probably) be a big mistake!

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Without a personal examination, it's impossible to be definitive, and even with examination there may be divergent opinions about this. But read all the answers and a concensus starts to emerge.

You have too much loose skin, too wide and severe of a diastasis (thanks for the crunch views!), and umbilicoplasty alone may damage the blood supply to the umbilicus so that the subsequent abdominoplasty (what you really need) has a higher risk of poor circulation to the umbilicus and dead skin! Plus, why waste the risk, recovery, and money if you will (likely) be unhappy and end up having to re-operate! Bummer!

Don't worry about the scar--yes, there will be one, but the scar can be covered. A persistent wide diastsis, incompletely-corrected (or not corrected) periumbilical wrinkled skin, and still-not-flat abdominal wall is no reason to choose the "less-scar" wrong operation!

Get a few more opinions from ABPS-certified plastic surgeons and look a few more before and afters. Scarring is better than a bad result and "less" scar. Furthermore, umbilicoplasty alone often yields MORE scarring immediately around the umbilicus in an effort to "do more" than is really possible with this approach. Then you may have MORE reason to have the operation you needed in the first place--a real, full, muscle plication, umbilical hernia-fixing abdominoplasty. And if you want a short scar, you can have the dog ears excised later to get the longer scar you should have had in the first place also! Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Umbilicoplasty versus tummy tuck

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You have way too much sagging and redundant skin to benefit from umbilicoplasty alone.  I do not think this will produce an acceptable cosmetic result. I recommend that you focus, not only on the scar, but on the total appearance of the abdomen.

Is Belly Button Surgery the Answer?

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I agree you need a short scar full TT with repair the umbilicus deformity. Best to seek more in person consults from boarded PSs in your city. 


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From the look on your pictures it looks like you would benefit from a complete abdominalplasty (tummy tuck). Just having your belly button fixed is not going to remove the excess skin you have. With the tummy tuck you would have a correction and a more defines abdomen.


Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

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.