3 weeks post op of Tummy Tuck, I have an excess skin over my belly button. What are my treatment options? (photo)

Not even three weeks ago I had a tummy tuck with full repair of rectus muscle and removal of excess skin. My same belly button was detached from stalk and moved lower. I am 46 yo and had my kids in my 40's. My doctor agrees that there is excess skin that is not improving even with otherwise great healing. He is recommending Titan treatments. I am concerned about efficacy of these treatments, further costs and quite frankly after all of the cost and pain, I was hoping to be happier. What are my options?

Doctor Answers 12


Dear Michb67,

A full examination and discussion would be needed to determine what the best course of action would be for you to achieve the result that you desire.  I suspect a full revision tummy tuck to further tighten abdominal skin and a neo-umbilicus would be needed to get maximum correction.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 166 reviews

Excess skin after your Tummy Tuck

Unfortunately, your problem may not be correctable.  Like my colleagues have already said, you likely needed a belly button transposition and not an umbilical "float".  The blood supply has now been compromised and transposition can have high risk of belly button necrosis. Your only other option is to have additional float but this will bring your belly button very low, or to consider a "reverse tummy tuck" where the skin is pulled up to the breast fold, but the scar can be undesireable.  I am not sure if any energy-based skin tightening will help at all. 

Matthew Schulman, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 326 reviews

Excess skin after tummy tuck

Thanks for the picture.  The first option is to wait at least 3 months.  It sounds like you had an umbilical float procedure.  I agree with Dr. Zubowicz that excess skin needs to be removed and would be hesitant to remove excess skin from around/near a belly button that has been floated.  I do not have experience with TITAN (energy based skin tightening) but I have worked with similar devices with minimal results and thus I don't those devices in my practice.

Earl Stephenson, Jr, MD, DDS,FACS

No treatment for surplus skin except excision.

I'm not sure I understand what you're umbilicus was transposed but there does indeed appear to be a modest surplus of skin in the area. I note no way to tighten the skin except for surgical excision. I'm not sure a satisfactory result can be accomplished through a periumbilical incision.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Belly Button Skin

The belly button and the skin around it are unlikely to tighten on their own.  Typically the belly button will be transposed rather than lowered.  With transposition the loose skin around the belly button is tightened and the belly button is brought through a new hole in the abdominal flap.  The problem is that the umbilical stalk was detached with your original surgery and this option no longer viable.  Your best bet would be a noninvasive skin tightening with Titan or Thermage.  I would see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon before going foward with other treatments.  An exam may reveal other options. 

Christopher Khorsandi, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 241 reviews

Loose skin after tummy tuck

I would recommend you allow some time for healing which may result in some additional improvement that may satisfy you.  Surgical approaches include smart lipo to help tighten the skin or revision of your tummy tuck which will result in having a scar in vertical fashion between the belly button and the lower incision "float."  External treatment may improve the skin tightening but you have to ask yourself if the mild improvements are worth the cost.

N. Bill Aydin, MD
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Excess skin

I would avoid any non-surgical skin tightening attempts, as they are very unlikely to accomplish anything. Nothing surgical can be done for some months, so waiting is the only option now. After all the swelling is gone, then a plan can be made reviewing the alternatives. 

Having had an umbilical float will result in fewer corrective options, but there will be some.

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews


The best course of action would be to wait 4-6 months to allow the blood supply to the abdomen to become re-established and for swelling to subside. In the interim, I would get a second opinion from a trusted plastic surgeon in your area.
In summary, you will likely require a revision tummy tuck with creation of a new belly button. The current skin between your belly button and pubic region will probably be able to be removed and this is the best way to get the skin tightening you desire.

Adam J. Oppenheimer, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 200 reviews

Skin laxity above floating umbilicus after tummy tuck

I do see the loose skin that you mention in your photograph.  This bump may also be caused by the residual belly button stalk that was left behind.

Options to consider are nonsurgical skin tightening or after full recovery if further lower abdominal laxity occurs a revision of your tummy tuck.  Next

Please be sure to discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon.

3 weeks post op of Tummy Tuck, I have an excess skin over my belly button. What are my treatment options?

Sorry to say the floating umbilical TT was most likely the incorrect option. But over the internet not sure - you did not post before photos... 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 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.