If I Have a Naturally High Navel Will my Tummy Tuck Scar Be High? (photo)

I want to undergo a tummy tuck but I have been told I have a high navel(belly button) does that mean I will have to have a high tummy tuck scar ?

Doctor Answers 7

Belly button position

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It looks like you will do fine.  The scar position and needing a vertical scar depends really on how much skin laxity you have and if a c section scar is involved in some patients.  If you have extra skin the navel stays in position and the scar is low, if you have only a small amount of extra skin but a lot of stretch marks you want removed then sometimes the trade off is a higher scar or a small vertical scar.  Visit with a board certified ps in your area to learn more.  Best.  Dr K

Tummy tuck scar almost always placed low

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Generally an oval area of skin between the navel and the pubic area is removed with a tummy tuck and the scar placed low along the "bikini line." The skin of the upper abdomen is freed up and pulled down to where it is closed. If the belly button is too high, then the skin is not removed all the way up to the navel, resulting in a small opening in the skin flap. This is closed with a vertical line, forming an upside-down "T". The vertical part of the scar fades nicely and is much better than placing the entire horizontal scar higher.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Scar with tummy tuck

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Not necessarily.  If your skin is lax, then the scar will likely still be horizontal.  Occassionally there is a small vertical scar, low on abdomen if the prior umbilical location cannot be completely removed.

David A. Lickstein, MD
Palm Beach Gardens Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Tummy tuck scar and belly button location

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If you have enough loose skin, you can still have a low tummy tuck scar with a high belly button. Typically a tummy tuck involves lifting up the skin and tissue from the lower abdomen all the way up the the border of the ribs, pulling it down tight (picture pulling down a window shade), and removing the excess tissue from the lower part of the flap. The belly button left in place attached to the abdomen, and once the skin is pulled down tight, it is brought out through the skin at its normal level. If you have enough loose skin, you can have a low tummy tuck scar and keep your belly button at its normal high location. If you don’t have enough loose skin, you can either have a small vertical scar between the belly button and your horizontal scar, or the surgeon can “float” the belly button to a lower position by cutting the attachment to the underlying tissue. I recommend consulting with a board certified plastic surgeon to see what your options are to meet your goals. One really needs to do a physical exam to see what you are a good candidate for.

Anita Patel, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

High belly button and tummy tuck scar placement

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I always prefer to keep the tummy tuck scar low, so that it can be covered by most underwear, swimsuits and clothing. If you have enough skin laxity above the belly button, it could be possible to keep your tummy tuck scar very low with no additional modifications. In this scenario, the skin would be loose enough to pull the skin above the belly button all the way to the low incision, thereby removing the opening from the belly button as we usually do. If the upper abdominal skin is not loose enough to do this, you can still have a low scar, but may also need a short vertical scar extending up from the horizontal scar (to close the belly button opening that couldn't be removed). The vertical scar is usally small and inconspicuous, and far better than placing the tummy tuck scar high.

Andres Taleisnik, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

High Tummy Tuck Scar Due to High Navel

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   A high belly button may necessitate a small vertical scar at the center of a low horizontal tummy tuck scar.  The tummy tuck scar does not have to be placed higher.  The plastic surgeon should explain this to you and the plan that is to be used.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Will my Tummy Tuck Scar Be High?

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There is no reason why the TT scar will have to be high, What can happen, though, is that the circular hole made around the navel, which ideally will come off with the excess skin will not removed and have to be sutured, leaving a small vertical scar.  

An alternative that may be possible would be to lift off the navel with the abdominal skin and fat, and reset it in a lower position. Sometimes this is a better option. All possibilities need to be discussed with your surgeon.

It would be a mistake to make the whole incision high to avoid the vertical incision. 

When you are ready for an in person consultation, RealSelf has listings of surgeons in your area. You should consider cross referencing the listings from the The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (plasticsurgery dot org). A listing in the ASPS website assures you that your surgeon is not only board certified,  but also is a member in good standing of the major plastic surgery organization in the U. S. Thank you for your question, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle 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.