Why is It Such a Problem to Keep or Make a New Belly Button After Umbilical Hernia Repair?

combined with a tummy tuck ? I also need diastasis rectis repair, but that's further up and shouldn't affect it right? I don't want to go around with NO belly button !!!

Doctor Answers 7

Umbilical hernia repair with tummy tuck

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For very small umbilical hernia defects, it is possible to repair during a tummy tuck. For larger umbilical defects, the umbilical stalk has to be at least partially detatched from the abdominal wall to permit secure suturing of the edges of the umbilical hernia - this devascularizes a portion of the umbilical skin and can lead to partial or complete loss of the umbilicus. For larger umbilical hernias, my preference would be to stage the procedures by 6-8 months. The other possibility is to do an 'umbilical float' procedure during a tummy tuck, repair this umbilical hernia at the time of the TT - the only issue with umbilical float tummy tucks is relatively poor correction of supra-umbilical skin laxity.

Make a New Belly Button After Umbilical Hernia Repair

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You have several problems that may require surgical correction.  If your have an umbilical hernia these need to be examined by a general surgeon.     You may be a candidate for a standard abdominoplasty with excisin of the excess overhanging skin at the time of your hernia repairs and a translocation of the umbilicus.

Tummy Tuck and Umbilical Hernia Repair

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The reason it is such a “problem” to keep the belly button is that the blood supply to it is significantly reduced by the tummy tuck procedure. The only remaining nutrition is through the base where the hernia is. To fix the hernia reduces the blood supply further. Careful surgery can overcome this problem, but the risk of problems is still there. As for the diastasis, since it extends both above and below the umbilicus, repair of this also can reduce its nutrition. Even without an umbilical hernia, care must be taken to prevent loss or scarring of the belly button.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck

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The difficulty in performing these procedures together is maintaining a blood supply to the belly button. The use of small mesh products has made this more achievable with lower risks.

David L. Abramson, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

Umbilical hernia repair need not damage belly button

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It is possible to repair an umbilical hernia and combine the procedure with tummy tuck and this is done quite frequently. We prefer do complete repairs without a general surgeon, as they have a different appreciation of aesthetics, scars, and preservation of circulation to the umbilicus. Repairing a belly button, after a poorly planned hernia repair, is a problem that can be avoided.

Best of luck,


Belly button after abdominoplasty

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It generally is not a problem to repair an umbilical hernia at the same time as a tummy tuck. This can be done by your plastic surgeon or a general surgeon at the same time.  You may want to seek a second opinion to clarify  any concerns that you have.

Blood Supply!

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When an umbilical hernia repair is performed by a general surgeon, the belly button stalk is cut and the blood supply to the umbilicus comes through the skin. In a tummy tuck, the plastic surgeon relies on the stalk for the blood supply and the skin is cut. Although it is possible for the repair to be done by your plastic surgeon, the safest and most predictable method is to stage the procedures.

Hope this helps!

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.