Is a Floating belly button the best option? (Photos)

I've had two tummy tuck consultations. The first surgeon said he would only do a mini tummy tuck on me. The 2nd surgeon said full but that he would 'float' my belly button rather than create a new worried that a mini wouldn't be a good result above the belly and that the "float"option would leave me with a low belly button.I wouldn't mind a vertical scar and to the skin of my current belly button stitched up. Should I push for that? Is there something I'm missing? Good health, mom of 2.

Doctor Answers 17

What tummy tuck is best?

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If you need your muscles done, a full tummy tuck is needed... plain and simple.  But you do not appear excessive that your scar can be low just above the pubic area and you may have to accept a higher scar.  Floating is great if your laxity above the umbilicus is minimal, but not if you want the maximal amount of skin removed.  I prefer my patients to give up their belly buttons and we remove it later (leaves a vertical scar) and reconstruct a belly button later... this allows your scar to be low except for the presence of the vertical scar.

Is a Floating belly button the best option

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There are times where a floating belly button is a good option but n looking at your photos,your concern of a belly button that is too low might be the end result. If you are willing to accept the vertical scar then the regular tummy tuck is a safer choice.

Is a Floating belly button the best option?

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Thanks for the photos.  They show that you would likely get a sub-optimal result with anything other than a full tummy tuck.  The mini tummy tuck with or without umbilical float procedure is suitable for a very small minority of patients.  It seems like such a great idea until the patient and surgeon realize that it was not enough and then doing a full tummy tuck is more difficult.  It is almost always a mistake to compromise shape and final result for shorter scars or recovery. 

Floating Belly Button?

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In my opinion you are definitely not a candidate for a mini-abdominoplasty. You need a standard abdominoplasty. Her belly button is high. It should be located on a line drawn from the top of one hip bone to the other.  Anylower than that looks unatural. I mark patients I have them hold their abdominal tissues up very tightly and mark the incision where it will be afterand where they want it. In your case I am almost certain you will have a vertical scar as the distance that hole (from cutting around your belly button) will not move that To avoid that you must put the lower incision higher which may show in some of your lower cut clothing. Most patients would prefer the lower scar and a small vertical one.

You Are Right: Both Are Bad Options

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You are right on both counts. A mini will not sufficiently tighten up your skin, and floating the belly button puts it too low. You need to visit a few surgeons that are ABPS certified/ASAPS members that will perform a full tummy tuck on you, prioritizing proper position of your long scar into the thigh-abdomen border and low across the pubic area. This may mean a vertical scar that closes the hole left from detaching the belly button, but that is aesthetically inconspicuous and leaves your belly button where it belongs. Best of luck! Instagram: drgeraldminniti

Is a Floating belly button the best option?

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A shorter scar tummy tuck will produce a better result than an umbilical float in my opinion.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Understand your tummy tuck options

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An umbilical float is a variation of a mini tummy tuck, but it does allow for a full muscle repair. It does not provide very much tightening of the skin above the belly button so I doubt that it is the best option for you. There are several variations to consider.

Is a floating belly button my best option?

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Thank you for your question and photos. I believe you answered your own question. I agree with your assessment and not your consultants. You will need a full tummy tuck with an umbilical transposition. I do not believe that you will end up with a low vertical scar. See a board certified plastic surgeon for an in person consultation/evaluation. Good luck.

Mini tummy tuck versus full tummy tuck?

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As best as I can tell from review your photographs I would make the recommendation that you have a full tummy tuck and avoid a mini tummy tuck or mini tummy tuck with umbilical float.  The latter two are likely to leave you disappointed in my opinion.  I am in total agreement with you that a lower vertical incision is better if necessary than a disappointing outcome or the error of making a tummy tuck incision too high across the lower stomach.

Perhaps another opinion from an ABPS board-certified plastic surgeon with review of before-and-after photographs and a thorough discussion of your goals and concerns would be of value. Best wishes,

Jon A Perlman M.D., FACS
Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Member, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
ABC-TV Extreme Makeover Surgeon
Beverly Hills, California

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Tummy tuck

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I agree with you that a mini tummy tuck is not the right option. A full tummy tuck is going to deliver the best results. However, I still think that you need to see another board ccertified plastic surgeon in your area for a consolation since I think there are other options available to you than the two presented above.


Kouros Azar

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.