Can a Reverse Tummy Tuck Fix my Belly Button?

I read that belly button surgery is not meant for belly buttons like mine. I'm 5'3 and 116 lbs. In this picture, I was 110lbs. After the birth of my 9lb son, my belly button stretched out. I don't have some sort of desire to get rid of my stretch marks (I'm just fine about them) but my belly button has to go. I don't want a tummy tuck because that just seems so ridiculous on someone with my frame. The last thing I want is such a visible scar on my little body. What procedures might I look in to?

Doctor Answers 4

Excess skin belly button

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Yes a reverse tummy tuck would tighten your upper abdominal skin but it would produce a long scar under both breasts. You have a nice figure and minimal surgery is better. A small incision around your belly button would give minimal improvement. You do have some excess skin and mild muscle laxity and because you have a high belly button, I would consider a mini tummy tuck with umbilical float.  This would lower your belly button an inch but help with the loose skin. The scar would be marked in your bikini line.

Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon

Reverse tummy tuck causes a scar also!

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Without actually assessing your skin laxity in person, it is impossible to give a thoughtful and meaningful answer. You do have a thin and trim frame, but your pregnancy did stretch your abdominal wall (muscles and fascia), as well as your skin, not just your belly button.

Many patients like you ask if umbilicoplasty alone can "tighten-up" the skin around the umbilicus. Unfortunately, in MOST (but not all) cases this just won't work and some sort of tummy tuck is necessary. A reverse tummy tuck is for the individual with more laxity in the upper abdomen, as well as a reason for scars along the undersides of the breasts (such as a breast lift or reduction). Scars crossing the midline for the reverse tummy tuck remain a problem, so the "standard" tummy tuck with a bikini-line incision and scar around the belly button is still the baseline "gold standard." There are modifications of the belly button scar that can make this NOT look like a paper punch or circular scar!

You may not be a candidate for a tummy tuck on the basis of your anatomy, but an isolated belly button repair is probably not in the cards for you either. I'd suggest one or more consultations with experienced, ABPS-certified plastic surgeons in your area. They will give you good advice and explore all the potential options with you. Best wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Can a Reverse Tummy Tuck Fix my Belly Button?

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If you don't want a visible scar, your options are very limited. A reverse leaves a scar as unsightly as a regular tummy tuck, and am umbilicoplasty ins't scar-free either. You might consider less-invasive options such as serial RF treatments to achieve some degree of skin tightening and see if that helps. There is no substitution for a physical exam so the next step is to go talk with a plastic surgeon. Hope that helps!

Christopher D. Knotts, MD, FACS
Reston Plastic Surgeon

Reverse Tummy-tucks and the belly-button story... not indicated unless...

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Thank you for your question.  Fixing your belly-button is quite a simple procedure.  This is a type of umbilicoplasty and is a common request in downtown Toronto.  The belly-button procedure is done under local anesthesia.  A minor skin excision is done either in a crescentic or peri-umbilical fashion.  The resulting scar is within the umbilical stalk proper.  Excess skin and adjacent stretch marks can also be improved.  You do not require a reverse abdominoplasty for the belly-button correction alone.  A reverse abdominoplasty is no longer a common procedure today unless you already have scars under your breasts as seen in the older techniques of breast reduction or breast lift (anchor-type of scars).  Newer techniques of breast reduction (vertical Lejour technique) and breast lift do not have horizontal scars.  But a reverse abdominoplasty would correct your belly-button along with improving your upper abdominal area.  See a board-certified plastic surgeon.  Best of luck, Dr. Marc Dupere, Toronto plastic surgeon, 416.929.9800

Marc DuPéré, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 71 reviews

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