I have a pooch below my belly button after surgery. My surgeon floated my belly button. What can I do now? (Photo)

I had full diastasis repair, umbilical hernia repair with what was supposed to be a full tuck in Feb to get rid of excess skin. I am 52, work out 1.5 hours a day and do triathlons. I had a flat stomach until this surgery mess. I now have a pooch below my belly button. Everything moved down and tightened so I have a balloon below belly button. It is hard to the touch. He floated my belly button which was NOT the plan. It is now off center to the left. He is a board certified plastic surgeon. So.... what can I do now???? Does anyone know a revision expert that could help me on the east coast? Thank you!
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Doctor Answers 7

Tummy tuck revision

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I have actually just repaired a similar problem not too long ago.  We proceeded with a full tummy tuck revision, removal of pseudo-bursa, and creation of a neo-umbilicus (moved the belly button up).  The pseudo-bursa removal video is shown below.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Options are few if any

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Thanks for your pictures.  I am sorry for about your issues.  NOT many options now.  I agree with Dr. Mahony's plan as a salvage.

I have a pooch below my belly button after surgery. My surgeon floated my belly button. What can I do now?

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Overall, you look great.

If your belly button was floated (detached from the abdominal wall and slid downward), there are some things that we 'know'.  We know that you would have had vert little skin removed.  We know that if you were to have a true tummy tuck now, the belly button wouldn't survive (and a new one would have to be created).

The question that an examination would answer would be if your 'pooch' is due to either excess skin, excess fatty tissue, laxity of the abdominal wall or a combination.  Once you know what is causing the problem, you can pick a solution to address it (that would also involve sliding your belly button over a tiny bit).  You need to have the correct diagnosis of the problem in order to pick the cure. 

Good luck.

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Concerns after a umbilical float tuck

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Revision can always be done and you don't have to be an expert... you just have to have good judgment.  The pooch can be addressed with liposuction if its 'fatty' or with skin excision if excess skin.  The umbilicus is more difficult but if willing to accept scarring around half of the belly button, it could be pulled more midline but it would make the belly button more oval rather than round.  Would you be okay with that?  Its always best to give your surgeon the opportunity to make things better but if the float was not discussed with you, the trust has bee compromised and most surgeons can make this better if you find it absolutely necessary.  By the way, when I fix umbilical hernias, my patients have to accept floating the belly button or even giving it up and then having a dimple reconstructed to simulate the belly button.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Is a revision needed?? Ask Dr Ellen

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Hey there!

First of all, you look fantastic, really.

My thinking on TT revisions is to give it a full year to heal, so I would wait a bit longer.

It's impossible to determine what is causing that minimal fullness in your lower abdomen and that determination is what strategizes your revision options.  Possibilities include liposuction and/or removing an additional small amount of skin.

The alignment of your belly button is not something I personally would address, I think it looks fine.

The enemy of good is perfect.

Thanks for asking!

Dr Ellen Mahony

Ellen A. Mahony, MD
Westport Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

I have a pooch below my belly button after surgery. My surgeon floated my belly button. What can I do now?

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Appears ALL the bridges have been used... I might try lower abdominal liposuction as a try. But I doubt the results would be much better. Sorry.... 

Revision abdominoplasty approach

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I would keep in perspective that you look better already then 99% of the population in terms of shape and contour.

I'm not so sure a revision would be too terribly complicated though. Looking at your picture, your umbilicus is tethered a bit to your right. That could be a minor technical error or you may in fact not be floated (ie. the stalk was left attached to the abdominal wall) and it's pulled that way from the rectus plication.

To revise, you will have to re-elevate that abdominal flap to reset the belly button 1cm to your left. That should also give you access to that lower flat to directly trim a little thinner for contour.

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.