Is Umbilicoplasty Right for Me? (photo)

I would like to remove the hanging skin right above my belly button. My stomach is pretty flat since I exercise constantly. I'm wondering if my belly button can be enhance without having to have a full tummy tuck. Thanks for your feedback.

Doctor Answers 12

Abdominoplasty is the answer

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You are looking for an umbilicus (belly button) that is attractive and has minimal to no scarring, and little to no hooding.   An umbilicoplasty will not accomplish this.  You have too much excess skin.  Also, it appears you have abdominal wall laxity, and therefore you would do well with an internal muscle repair.  


Choose a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with experience in the Mommy Makeover, and he or she will be able to tell you whether a full tummy tuck or just an umbilical slide would be needed.  This usually is determined by pinching the skin while the knees are bent.


The way to keep the scar around the umbilicus minimal is to anchor the inside of the belly button to the abdominal wall with 4 sutures, then to defat around the new skin that will come down to the old belly button, and finally keep all the stitches below the surface (i.e. subcutaneous).  Good belly button surgery is an integral part of any well done tummy tuck. 

Tummy Tuck?

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Thank you for your question and photo.

From the photo, it looks like you do have abdominal wall laxity and if you would like to improve that, a tummy tuck with muscle repair may be what you need - that can also address the excess skin around the belly button as well. The best thing to do is to have a physical examination by a board certified plastic surgeon to get the best advice.

Best Wishes!

Umbilicoplasty or tummy tuck

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Hi there

This is a really common problem, and a difficult one for the surgeon and you.  The patient with a pretty good but not perfect abdominal wall recovery post pregnancy, is often left with some minor areas of concern without feeling that improvement should include or need a full tummy tuck with the long low scar inherent in that procedure, or a divarication repair which might not be needed.

My own experience is as follows:

1. Umbilicoplasty is rarely the answer for loose skin ABOVE the umbilicus.  It's useful if there is a misshapen umbilicus or an umbilical hernia.

2. If there is a little loose skin only and no loose skin below the umbilicus the best option is usually to offer an umbilical "float" procedure.  Through a short suprapubic incison - ie 7 cm or so -  the abdominal wall can be elevated, and the umbilicus disconnected from the abdominal wall and moved down around 2 - 3 cm, and resecured to the abdominal wall. If the umbilicus is moved too low it looks odd but it will tolerate being moved down a little.

3. If there is loose skin below the umbilicus, a longer but still short low transverse incision can allow a little lowering of the umbilicus and some excision of lower abdominal skin.  This is a quick recovery day procedure, as is 2.

4. If there is too much loose skin for this to look good you need to have a full abdominoplasty or TT, with or without a divarication repair.

I suggest a consultation with a good plastic surgeon in your area is a good place to start.

Good luck.



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If you feel you need the contour of your abdomen changed with flattening, then you will need some form of abdominoplasty to tighten the muscles. This can be done with a fairly short suprapubic scar and very little skin looks like it needs to be removed. That wont have any real effect on the belly button. If all you want changed is the loose skin above the belly button, a small crescent of skin above it can be removed and the scar worked into the upper edge of the belly button. A limited muscle tightening can then be done through that scar if you prefer. That way there would be no suprapubic scar. This is a very uncommon approach to the problem so make sure your surgeon has some experience with it and feels confident he can meet your goals.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Tummy tuck for belly button improvement

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I agree that you have minimal skin laxity, but you appear to have abominal wall laxity and peri-umbilical skin laxity - your best bet is a short scar tummy tuck that tightens your abdominal wall from top to bottom. Your belly button skin excess can be removed, but you'll likely have a short vertical scar between your BB and pubic bone. See a good local plastic surgeon for an opinion.

Belly button surgery

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The minor hooding of your umbilicus could be improved but there would be a scar. Only a minimum amount of skin could be removed with this procedure to keep the scar short.

Richard Linderman, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon

Loose skin after pregnancy

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I know this is not what you want to hear, but a tummy tuck of some fashion is going to be your best bet for a good and longlasting result. It is the only procedure that will adequately address the laxity and skin problem.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Belly button

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Yes you can just revise your belly button without a full tummy tuck if that is all you want.It could be doen under local as an outpatient.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Umbilicoplasty Unlikely to Improve Your Appearance

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Hi there-

Based on the photo you posted, I think your chances of being happy after an umbilicoplasty are low...

Your abdominal shape suggests you need a bit more to achieve an attractive appearance-

I recommend you visit a surgeon Certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery for an exam and opinion.


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Judging by your picture I would suspect an umbilical hernia. Check to see if you have any pain or a weak area in the fascia. An umbilical plastic can be done the problem is the surrounding scar. Depending on how much you one tighten the abdominal skin determines how much scar would need to be made.

I've had patients who have tattooed the paramedical scar and gotten a very nice result. Check and make sure you don't have a hernia because if there is a hernia there been repairing hernias will improve the appearance of your umbilicus.

Wendell Perry, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 234 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.