Is the belly button relocated during a tummy tuck?
I am interested in getting a tummy tuck, is it true your belly button is removed and relocated during the procedure? Why is this done and what would happen if it's damaged during surgery?
Thank you for your question. In a tummy tuck the belly button is NOT removed and relocated. The procedure begins with an incision low along the underline so as to be concealed by underclothing or swimwear. The skin and subcutaneous tissue is then elevated off the underlying abdominal wall muscles. A circular or oval shaped incision is then made around the belly button. The belly button is then dissected down to the abdominal wall. It is left attached on its blood supply or stalk. The upper abdominal skin is then elevated off the muscle to the level of the ribs. This allows the abdominal skin to be pulled downward and the excess or loose skin is then removed. After the loose skin is removed, the upper skin flap is sutured to the lower skin incision. The belly button is then brought out through a new incision, but in the same relative position on the abdomen as before the tummy tuck. So, at the end of the procedure, there is a lower abdominal incision and an incision around the belly button. Consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your area. Don't be afraid to ask questions! That's what we're here for!
J. Michael Morrissey, MD
Dr. J. Michael Morrissey has 1 Tummytuck before & after:
There is another type of tummy tuck, called an "umbilical float" which may be used in certain cases when there is minimal skin laxity above the belly button but with most of the skin laxity below the belly button. This procedure allows for removal of the lax skin through a lower abdominal incision and will allow for muscle tightening as well. The difference is that the belly button is detached from its stalk under the skin and then the entire belly button is moved downwards about 1/2 inch. This slight change of position is not noticeable. The advantage is that there is no scar around the edge of the belly button at all.
There are no tummy tuck procedures in which the belly button is removed and then replaced.
Hope this helps.
Elliot W. Jacobs, MD, FACS
New York City
Dr. Elliot Jacobs has 3 Tummytuck before & afters: