Is having a soft protruding tissue around belly button normal after a Tummy tuck? (photos)

After my 4th child, I decided to have a tummy tuck. My surgeon said I did not need any muscle repair and was only going to remove skin below belly button. I expressed my concern as I had loose skin above my belly button as well. He decided to do a "floating umbilical" technic. 6 months post-op I do not have a tight tummy and have this soft raised area around the belly button area. When pressed upon, it is hard and "stringy" for lack of a better term. Is this normal?

Doctor Answers 7

See your surgeon

Thanks for the photos and synopsis. You appear to have residual peri umbilical fat. Your tummy can be made tighter with a revision tummy tuck. 


Westfield Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Tummy Tuck - Post Op Concern

Thank you for your question. It appears you needed a full tummy tuck to begin with. The umbilical float technique coupled with only infra-umbilical skin excision has resulted in further exaggeration of the skin excess around your belly button. Please voice your concerns to your plastic surgeon. Hope this helps.

Steven J. Rottman, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Is having a soft protruding tissue around belly button normal after a Tummy tuck?

Thank you for your question.  Unfortunately based on your narrative it seems that you would have been a better candidate for a full tummy tuck, muscle repair and umbilical transposition.  With that type of belly button repair the belly button is left attached to the abdominal wall and then later pulled through the abdominal skin once tightened.  The "float" procedure you had performed prevents appropriate treatment of the skin around your belly button leaving you with the current appearance as it was pulled down with the excess skin already present.  I would recommend seeing your surgeon for an in-person evaluation and discussion of your results. .  

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Needed a formal tummy tuck

 While the offer of doing a smaller procedure such as a mini-abdominoplasty may be alluring to most patients, sometimes it does not addressed all of the problems that four pregnancies have caused. In my experience, I can't recall seeing a patient that after four pregnancies did not require some type of muscle repair. Also, in my opinion, if there is redundant skin access above the bellybutton, there is no amount of "floating the bellybutton" that will allow for taking up the slack of that excess skin without placing the bellybutton almost near the lower incision. In most patients that I see, a formal tummy tuck that places a circular incision around the belly button leaving it where it was and then pulling it through a new whole is a far better option to correct what you started with. I would go back to your surgeon for advice on how to make this better.

Marc J. Salzman, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Soft Tissue Protruding around Belly Button after Floating Umbilical Tummy Tuck

It appears from your photos that the soft tissue around the belly you are referring to is excess skin that remains following a tummy tuck where the umbilicus is 'floated' or where the skin immediately around the belly button is not incised completely around. The umbilicus is simply cut from its connection to the abdominal wall and allowed to move with the skin flap without changing the surrounding skin. While this might not be the case for you, it is suggested because you were concerned of loose skin above the umbilicus and patients with four children or more generally need to have more aggressive skin removal that umbilical circumscription (relocating the belly button opening) gives. The hard and stringy nature of the area may be due to scar tissue that may improve over time but I would go back to your plastic surgeon so that he or she can answer your questions and give you options.

Christopher T. Chia, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Post Op Tummy Tuck Result

Based on your photos and description, I would have suggested a full Tummy Tuck to tighten the muscles. I cannot think of a mother of 4 that did not need that done at the time of her Tummy Tuck. Some patients request a mini TT thinking they will have a shorter scar and less recovery. Your scar appears to be as long as any full TT. Recovery is not that much different for the mini vs regular TT in my experience. I would suggest talking to your plastic surgeon about your concerns as this is the result you will have without a revision. Best Wishes.

James A. Hoffman, MD
Saint Paul Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Is having a soft protruding tissue around belly button normal after a Tummy tuck?

This looks like a mini tummy tuck result and I agree that it may have been better to do a standard (full) tummy tuck. Discuss with your surgeon or consider another opinion with an experienced plastic surgeon. 

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 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.