Umbilical Float or Full Tummy Tuck for High Belly Button?

I am 110lbs, 5'4" and had twins. I now have a hernia, diastasis, low c-section scar and only a small amount of skin ABOVE my belly button (bb).

I have been on 4 consults and all say I have a high bb. Two would do the umbilical float (because of high bb & little skin) and the other 2 say Full Tummy Tuck.

I am torn. I'd like to do the float b/c for the FTT dr's say I'll need a 2nd vertical scar and a vertical scar (due to lack of skin & low c-sec. scar).

Doctor Answers 27

How Do You Choose A Tummy Tuck Doctor

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OMG.  After reading all the responders' comments to your question of tummy tuck vs. umbilical float, I am totally confused, and I have done hundreds and hundreds of tummy tucks and a handful of umbilical floats myself.  I disagree with the surgeons who say umbilical float is not a good operation and that you don't get a normal belly button.  I have done it several times in very unique situations with positive and attractive results.  That having been said, I personally think you could have a full on tummy tuck. 

There, I have done it.  I have added to the confusion.  Here is my suggestion.  Of all the Board Certified surgeons you have seen, who do you feel the most comfortable with, who has the best before and after pictures, who has given you the name of several of his patients and you have talked with them about their experience with his or her tummy tucks.  To me, that is the answer.  You don't want to pick the technique, you want to pick the surgeon. 

You are going to trust this plastic surgeon with your life and your looks.  Don't limit them as to what they can do for you.  I love the internet.  It has educated not only patients, but also surgeons.  The problem is, there is so much information out there that patients are now making surgeons decisions. 

You pick the surgeon, let the surgeon make the surgeon's decisions.

Floating umbilicus vs full tummy tuck vs hybrid tummy tuck

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You have lots of fascial laxity and minimal skin laxity. You are in my opinion a poor candidate for a full tummy tuck because you will get a hip to hip scar just to fix the deep fascia, and that scar will be high and visible.

I hate the umbilical float procedure. It involves cutting off the belly button and moving it lower, then reattaching it. In my opinion, the belly button never looks quite rightl, usually flatt, and often even looks bizarre. While I do not perform the procedure, I have never seen a satisfactory result.

My advice to patients like yourself is to have a hybrid tummy tuck(R). This involves a C-section type scar, and full tightening of the fascia all the way up to the chest, with a small removal of skin. This procedure requires special retractors and sometimes endoscopic equipment. You are the classic candidate for that procedure.

It looks as though you also have a small umbilical lhernia, which should also be repaired.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Floating abdominoplasty

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Floating abdominoplasty uses a small incision in the lower abdomen to allow for the tummy to be tightened and shaped. No incision around the belly button is needed. Through the incision, excess skin is removed and muscles can be tightened. The belly button is temporarily detached during the surgery to allow for this. You experience muscle tightening from sternum to pubic area. After the belly button is reattached (and moved down if necessary) the incisions are sutured. Liposuction can be performed if necessary to eliminate excess fat.

Please see an experienced board certified plastic surgeon for a physical examination to determine which treatment would be most suitable. A floating abdominoplasty may help you. Good luck.

Umbilical Float vs Vertical Scar WITH a Full Tummy Tuck

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I think the way to go would be to use your old C section scar through which a full tummy tuck with a complete repair of your rectus muscle separation should be done. This will flatten the tummy and narrow the waist.

You also have a somewhat sagging Mons pubis - I would raise it to a youthful position and secure it to the muscle fascia to prevent more upward pull.

Finally, the decision on FLOAT VS VERTICAL scar should be made at the end of the case once everything else has been achieved based on the best cosmetic appearance.

Good Luck

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Floating umbilicus vs traditional TT

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The floating umbilicus is a rare version of a TT. You don't have an easy abdomen but you do have substantial muscle laxity. Once this is proprly tightened, the umbi will rotate down a litle into a more normal position. I'd vote for a conventional TT, possible a slightly higher scar, no vertical scars at all because these look poor.

Umbilical Float or Full Tummy Tuck for High Belly Button

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There may be enough skin to make a  full tummy tuck the best option. There is a lot of laxity in the mid abdomen (a lateral view would have been very helpful).  When this large bulge is completely flattened, all the skin that is going up the curve to the belly button will be lax and may be sufficient to get the belly button hole down close to the incision or to remove it entirely. An in-person exam helps to clarify this, because if one can take the skin above the umbilicus and compress it vertically by about 9 cm, there should be enough skin to do the full tummy tuck.  If there is a small low vertical scar at the incision line, sometimes after six months the skin relaxes and more can be removed to get rid of the scar.

Robert M. Lowen, MD
Mountain View Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Tummy tuck after twins

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I think your would be a great candidate for a full tummy tuck. However, I would be interested to know how long its been since you have given birth to your twins. It is important for you to have healed from childbirth before embarking on this journey.Swelling from the uterus can take some time to resolve and you wouldn't want to get a tummy tuck while this is still taking place.
However, if adequate time has passed and you have been examined by your plastic surgeon of choice, I recommend a full tummy tuck using your C-section scar, repairing the rectus muscle separation (diastasis) , liposuction to contour, and skin excision to tailor your new form.

Kiran Polavarapu, MD
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon

High belly button

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I would recommend for my patients a tummy tuck with diastasis repair and umbilical hernia repair if they appeared as you do in this picture.  An umbilical float is a reasonable alternative, but it would not be my first choice. Good luck.

David Stoker, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Full tummy tuck with higher scar better option for high belly button

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Thank you for your question. A personal exam and consultation is always best.

That said I do not like the floating belly button technique. In my experience a full tummy tuck with a higher scar and muscle repair is a better option.

Be sure to consult a plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, experienced in your procedure, and who has an excellent reputation in your community.

Full tummy tuck or belly button float ?

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When a c section scar is placed extremely low and the patient has a high belly button, she has three options : 1) A conventional abdominoplasty with a small vertical scar to close up the hole after releasing the belly button .  2) Placing a new incision in the bikini line without additional vertical scar. 3) Performing a floating belly button. With any of the above techniques diastasis recti or ventral hernia could be repaired , if necessary. Any of the above options has produced good results in properly selected patients in my practice.    

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.