I Want a Full Tummy Tuck, but No BB. Is That Possible?

Is there any reason to keep a BB scar ?.. is it possible? are there any particular drawbacks? and cant it just be removed?

Doctor Answers 12

It is possible to perform tummy tuck without the belly button

The belly button really represents scar tissue that extends from the skin to the muscle wall fascia, and as such there are no vital structures.  It is possible to perform tummy tuck without replacing the belly button, but this will impact the appearance of the tummy.  In some instances the belly button has become so stretched and elongated that it is virtually necessary to remove it, but this is the exception rather than the rule.  In most cases people are concerned that the belly button won't appear normal as this is normally an important aesthetic landmark on the abdomen.  However, if you are committed to doing without yours, and you are fully informed of the implications, then I think it can be done.  Just remember it is much easier to remove a perfectly good belly button than it is to reconstruct one down the line if you ever change your mind.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Is a belly button necessary?

In over ten years of practice, you are the first person to ask this. Everyone else is really concerned with having one and having it look normal, in fact better than normal! So thanks for making us all think a little. The answer is, of course, it is totally unnecessary, it will just look a little weird. In fact it will simplify the surgery. It may be hard to convince some one to do this! Good luck!

Lisa Cassileth, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Tummy Tuck but no Belly Button

Thank you for your question. Some surgeons remove the BB, but other than cosmetic concerns, there is no real good use for one.  Discuss this with your surgeon. I hope this helps.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews


this is unusual. most people are quite interested  in how the belly button looks. the belly button is sacrificed in very large tummy tucks where its survival is difficult

Norman Bakshandeh, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Excision of belly button

Abdominoplasty can be done with removing the umbilicus.  I routinely do this on people who have very thick abdominal walls since the umbilicus will often not survive leading to complications.  Patients who have this done often show their results to others to prove that it is possible.

Best Wishes,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 224 reviews

I Want a Full Tummy Tuck, but No BB. Is That Possible?

Yes,it is possible. I have done this a few times in massively obese patients needing panniculectomy (excess skin excision), where the risks of transposing the navel were high. 

But the appearance is so unusual that I would need a better understanding of your motives. All the best. 

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

Tummy Tuck without Umbilicus?

Although,  an unusual request, tummy tucks can be done with the umbilicus removed.  Of course, this may raise questions of you when people look at your abdomen.

 You should be aware that the appearance  of the  umbilicus is very important to most patients undergoing tummy tuck surgery  because the scar around the umbilicus will  likely be the only scar visible in a  two piece swimming suit or undergarment ( after tummy tuck surgery).  Generally speaking, an umbilicus that is too large,  too round, or too flat  can be a tell tale sign that they tummy tuck operation has been performed. In other words, a smaller, more oval-shaped umbilicus tends to be more aesthetically pleasing to most patients.

Make your decisions carefully.

Best wishes.


Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,503 reviews

Anything is possible!

Generally speaking, plastic surgeons strive to make things look normal if not better than normal. Normal abdomens have belly buttons. So we try to make the belly buttons look like a great looking belly button (think models). That doesn't mean that the belly button has to be there. But it goes against our collective grain to omit one. If you have a good reason to want it gone, I see no excuse to force the norm. However, be prepared to live with your decision. Remade belly buttons seldom look as good as the real thing.

Peter D. Geldner, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

I Want a Full Tummy Tuck, but No BB. Is That Possible?

             A tummy tuck can produce a tummy without a belly button, if that is desired.  The drawback would be that this does not represent the normal anatomy.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of tummy tucks and body contouring procedures each year.  Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

A full abdominoplasty requires revision of the umbilicus.

In abdominoplasty requires release of the attachment the umbilicus which means separating in the surrounding skin flap. Therefore scar in the vicinity is necessary. However the scars are generally very acceptable. Make sure your plastic surgeon can give you a good quality umbilicus.

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