Do I have to lose my belly button? (Photo)

I'm 34yo, 5'2" 142 lbs. I've had 5 consults regarding a full tummy tuck, implant replacement and Lift. I have gotten conflicting answers regarding my hernia. 3 of the doctors said it could be repaired and 2 have said that I'll completely lose my belly button due to the placement of it. I'm really fond of it and the doctor I'm leaning towards going with is one of the two. He said he'll make me a new one and I'll love it but I'm hesitant because of the others who said the could save it. Help pls

Doctor Answers 13

Umbilical hernia repair at the time of an abdominoplasty

The blood supply to the umbilicus comes from two sources, one is from the surrounding skin and the other is through the umbilical stalk.  If the hernia is large it may compromise the blood supply to the umbilicus itself. Hard to predict it for sure but many times the hernia can be reduced by either splitting the umbilical stalk or repairing it from below by splitting the fascia.  Even if there is not a hernia wound healing problems form vascular insufficiency to the umbilicus is possible.  


Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Hernia and belly button

Hello Mrs Monty,
from the photos I can see that you will greatly benefit from a tummy tuck and umbilical hernia repair. The chance of losing your belly button is minimal at best. Choose a board certified plastic surgeon and you will be in good hands for the best result!

Morad Tavallali, MD
Vienna Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Tummy tuck and umbilical hernia

Dear MrsMonty,
  Thanks for submitting your pictures. You are a great candidate for tummy tuck and your belly button repair appear to be simple. In 28 years of practice and over a thousand of tummy tuck surgery patients, I have never lost the belly button. You should not lose it either in the right hands.
  Do your due diligence as you do and choose wisely. Consult only with experienced board certified plastic surgeons who operate in accredited surgery center for your safety. Check the before and after pictures in the photo gallery, to make sure that they are numerous, consistent and attractive. Ask to see tummy tuck with hernia repair. Check the 'Realself' reviews for positive experience report.
                Best of luck,
                                  Dr Widder

No need to lose your belly button

Thank you for your question and photographs. NO, you do not have to lose your belly button to have the hernia fixed at the same time as a tummy tuck. I do this all the time.  If you have an experienced plastic surgeon who has had enough training  in general surgery, he/she can correct the hernia internally by splitting the fascia just below the belly button so that the hernia can be repaired with no loss of blood supply to the belly button skin and no need for mesh. Based on your photos, you appear to be a very good candidate for a tummy tuck. Good luck.

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Belly buttom issues

From my experience ,given the situation of a ventral hernia that may also have a component of an umbilical hernia can sometimes have to undergo sacrifice of the belly button in order to repair the hernia. I would tell you that we would certainly try to save the belly button but you have to recognize the chance that we could not. I agree with what one of your consults told you in regards to making a new bellybutton several months later. Another approach that might work is to have a laparoscopic umbilical hernia repair several months prior to your tummy tuck. Good luck.

Marc J. Salzman, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Do I have to lose my belly button?

Thank you for your question.



An umbilical hernia repair can compromise the blood supply to the belly button.  This disruption is determined by how bad the hernia is to begin with.  This does not mean you have to lose the belly button, but it does mean it may struggle when it comes to healing.  It is very person specific on how it heals, it may heal without any problems or it could take a little longer to heal.  Good luck with your decision.

Francis Johns, MD
Greensburg Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Do I have to lose my belly button?

Losing your belly button is not a given even with an external hernia repair, but the risk of losing it is definitely present.
Another approach would be to have the hernia repaired laparoscopically with an internal mesh then have the tummy tuck done. This can be done at the same procedure and will lessen, but not eliminate the chances of losing your belly button.

Loss of navel for hernia repair

Thank you for asking about your umbilical hernia repair with your mommy make-over.

  • The photo suggests that the hernia is protruding directly through the navel.
  • If your plastic surgeon does a great many hernia repairs, he may be right.
  • But if in doubt, consult a general surgeon as well -
  • the hernia repair and tummy tuck can be done at the same time, with the general surgeon doing the hernia repair.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Hope you find this information helpful. Best wishes.

Will my belly button make it??????????????

Thanks for posting your question and the pictures to help illustrate what is going on.  The two issues directly impacting survival of the umbilicus are the wide diastasis of the rectus muscle and the obliteration of the umbilicus from the hernia.  In order to repair these structures, the blood supply of the belly button is violated.  The problem is that because of the hernia, the blood supply is already tenuous.  Laparoscopic repair would enhance the survival, however, because these are generally underlay procedures, the overall shape of the belly button would not change and then the diastasis is generally not addressed laporoscopically as well.

At the end of the day, I am sure every effort will be made to preserve your belly button, but despite these efforts, it may not make it. 

Do I have to lose my belly button? (Photo)

Most likely can save it but you might need a general surgeon to repair the hernia as a surgical team approach.....

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.