How Can I Get Rid Of The Loose Skin Around My Belly Button?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have had two children, the last one being two years ago. As a result of my pregnancies, I have some loose skin and stretch marks which are greatest right around my belly button. I would like to get rid of how my belly button area looks as I just hate it paticularly when I bend over or sit down. I know because I am very small and thin that I don’t have enough loose skin to do a full tummy tuck. But I want to have a completely flat stomach with no loose skin. I am thinking that if I have the skin cut out from around my belly button, rather than low like done in a traditional tummy tuck, that I will get the tightest result. I know this will leave me without a bellybutton but that would not bother me. Have you ever done a high tummy tuck like this?

A:  It is very common that many of the stretch marks and loose skin that results from pregnancies is around the belly button. This is because this is the region of the stomach that undergoes the greatest amount of skin expansion. After delivery, wrinkling and belly button deformities are common. While the type of ‘high’ tummy tuck that you are describing can certainly be done, I would advise against it. Regardless of how flat and tight the abdominal skin would be, having a horizontal scar across the center of your stomach without a bellybutton would create a secondary cosmetic deformity of its own that would not be very natural looking. You would be better served by having a mini tummy tuck with an umbilical float technique. This would create a very low horizontal scar just about the pubic hairline and keep a belly button that is positioned lower with less wrinkled skin around it. While this may not create the supertight abdominal skin that you desire, you would have substantial improvement but having a more natural look.

Dr.  Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana