What is Your Opinion on Umbilical Float to Lower Tummy Tuck Scar - Follow Up to my First Question Posted 2/1/12 (photo)

Follow up to my first question, please add: My incision was made at the line in the before photo, just into my hairline, which now runs into my scar. Huge amount of laxity in pubis has improved but still too much remaining. Just want to now move forward in the best way when the time is right. Will happily accept a scar 15-20mm lower if possible to get back into my pants again. I’m 5’4”, 115lbs, non smoker, fit with no medical problems.

Doctor Answers 4

Lowering tummy tuck scars

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

It is possible to 'float' the umbilicus downward and lower the tummy tuck scar. However, the movement will be perhaps and inch, and the umbilicus only belongs in the place that it started, without the risk of making the abdomen look strange. Your scar is bound to fade in well and your best bet it is to let things be.

Best of luck,

Peter Johnson, MD

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Am I At The Right Weight For a Full TT, Breast Lift, and Medial Thigh Lift? (photo)

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thanks for the before photo. Very hard to repair your defect. Very poor surgery planning. Might consider tissue expander to stretch the area so to lower the incision. Otherwise a decorative tattoo might also help. 

High tummy tuck scar

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The problem with using the line you show as a guide for the lower incision, is that the pubic laxity goes away with a tummy tuck and the tightness pulls the scar way up. The lower incision should be marked with the pubic skin pulled tight, with your underwear or bikini bottom ON to be sure it will end up covered by your underclothing/swimwear, and I measure 5 to 6 cm above the cleft of the labia majora or the top of the private parts.

If you wait long enough, the scar will fade so it might not bother you as much.

I would caution about a belly button float: the belly button might not survive, because the cut around the belly button done at the first tuck severed the blood supply which might not have re-formed adequately in the resulting scar to survive a cut through the stalk (the float), which provides most of the blood supply now.

I have done a scar lowering after a tummy tuck and so long as you wait long enough, about a year from the first TT, the skin will relax so you can re-do the tummy tuck., The scar will be longer, and the lateral part might not be a lot lower, and the hole where your belly button was will be stitched up and leave a scar lower below your new belly button. Good luck.

Victor Au, MD (retired)
Chapel Hill Plastic Surgeon

Follow up to umbilical float

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thanks for the follow up question. I think your surgeon did a great job reshaping your tummy. Your scar ended up a little high because of how high your belly button was before surgery. From your "after" photos it doesn't really look like the pubic area is "loose". Regardless, if your muscles were tightened in the first operation, and you are happy with everything except the position of your scar, than an umbilical float procedure should work well. You should wait at least 6 months before proceeding.

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.