Why are some people's belly buttons higher than others when they get a tummy tuck?

Hello I am 36 years old and I am interested in getting a full tummy tuck with Liposuction. I am wondering why some people's bellybuttons are higher than others when they get a tummy tuck. They look very unnatural when they are too high. Also, can you ask the doctor to put your scar as low as possible?I would prefer mine to be where my C-section scar is

Doctor Answers 10

Tummy tuck Belly Button and Scar position.

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Thanks for your question. 

With respect to the belly button, plastic surgeons have some discretion about where it is placed. The umbilical stalk can only stretch so far, but when needed it can be pulled upward or downward to a degree, even left or right.

In my own practice, I favor a lower position as well, but I try to leave a few inches between the belly button and the incision so that the underwear or bathing  suit can sit above the scar, but there is normal  skin between the bikini top edge and the belly button.  I find that quilting of the abdomen ( sewing the skin to the abdominal wall) helps to keep the belly button in a lower position as well.

Most surgeons, myself included will try to keep the scar as low as possible. In all of my patients I am either at, or below existing c-section scars. It makes no sense to me to leave a second scar behind. Again, I find that quilting helps to keep scars in a lower position. 

Your PS will have to evaluate how loose you are with a pinch test. This will determine how low the scar can realistically be.

I have included tummy tuck FAQ below that may help as well. Best wishes.

Belly button position

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Thank you for your question.  During a standard abdominoplasty, the belly button is left attached to its native position on the abdominal wall and it is delivered through a new hole in the abdominal skin flap.  Abdominoplasty scars should be kept as low as possible and are often much lower than a standard C-section scar.  The position of the scar, or the distance between the scar and the belly button can give the visual appearance of the belly button placed too high.  A higher scar with a shorter distance to the new umbilicus will give the appearance of a higher belly button even if it is in the same place.  Scar position can be influenced by the amount of skin laxity.  The key is to make the new belly button small and inconspicuous as possible so that it's not a focal point.  It is very important to address this during your consultation.  

Brian A. Pinsky, MD
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Belly Button Positioning Post-Op

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It may take several months for a tummy tuck patient’s scars to soften, for sensation to return, and for relaxing of the tight sensation in the abdomen. In the case of extensive surgery, abdominoplasty recovery can be uncomfortable and may take longer. Scars may stay red, become thick or widen. It can take 12-18 months for the scars to settle.

These can be improved with topical treatments such as BioCorneum, Scar Guard, Scar Fade and Mederma. Redness can be improved with laser treatments and the scars can be kept narrow with products such as Embrace.  On occasion, keloids or hypertrophic scars can develop and will need treatment including Kenalog, 5FU and laser.

The re-positioning of your belly button can be determined by the use of an incision in the area of your belly button. If you are looking for multiple options for your procedure and healing process then you should not hesitate at all to schedule additional consultations with other board certified plastic surgeons to make sure that you will be going along with a procedure with which you agree. Look at the before and after photos provided by surgeons in your consultations to make sure you are completely comfortable with reaching your desired results before scheduling a procedure. Good luck!

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Why are some belly buttons so high

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The belly button is normally not detached from its position on the muscle layer, so if it was high before it will be high. We just make it look better. All people are different in the position. Some doctors will do what is called an umbilical float (which I do not recommend or like), and then it may end up lower. I would recommend you get a couple of consultations from board certified plastic surgeons who perform this regularly. Good luck.

Tummy tuck

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Hello and thank you for your question. If you are an appropriate candidate, a tummy tuck can be done through a low and short incision, all completely below the bikini line.  The belly button can be designed to look natural and have no scars on the exterior.   Your muscles can also be plicated resulting in a flat abdomen.  Make sure you specifically look at before and after pictures of real patients who have had this surgery performed by your surgeon and evaluate their results.  The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I recommend that you seek consultation with a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon who can evaluate you in person.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Tummy tuck incisions

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It is determined by your anatomy and your surgeon. A low scar and natural appearing belly button is always the goal.

An exam and consultation with a plastic surgeon is recommended to confirm you are a candidate as well as discuss your options and expectations.

Tummy tuck scar placement

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the howl in scar placement is to keep it low and within the bikini line. Typically, the incision would be made through your existing C section scar which will be reclosed at the end of the operation using plastic technique.  The umbilicus is not detached and will be in its existing placement on your abdomen. When all the excess skin is removed and the abdomen is flat, this may appear to have been moved. Instead, everything is oriented around it. 

Why are some people's belly buttons higher than others when they get a tummy tuck?

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Thank you for your question.  The belly button is left attached to the underlying tissues.  However once the abdominal skin is tightened and pulled down the surgeon makes a decision where to make the skin incision to bring the belly button out.  Most surgeons attempt to place the belly button at the same location that it had before surgery.  However it is a matter of judgment and skill on the part of the surgeon to reposition the umbilicus at the proper location.

Yes it is frequently possible to make the tummy tuck incision at the level of a C-section scar.  For more information please read below:

Belly Button/Scar Positioning

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Since the belly button is not disconnected during a full Tummy Tuck, it should sit where it was before surgery but the position can appear elevated because excess skin and fat aren't pulling downward on frontal abdominal tissues.

I recommend that you review pre/post photos of your chosen surgeon's work. Talk about your concerns with them. Ensure you select a Plastic Surgeon who is board certified and an expert in this area.

All the best

Tummy Tuck

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Thank you for your question.  Generally the belly button lies in a plane between the bones that are on your flanks (the top of the anterior superior iliac spine).  The belly button is not disconnected, so it should just be in the same place, but on a flatter stomach.  The goal of most plastic surgeons is to place the scar as low as possible, preferably at the same place as the C- section scar.  The goal is to bring the upper skin as low as possible to make the scar low and less visible.  Best to speak to a board certified plastic surgeon.  All the best, 

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.