Appropriate position and ideal shape of umbilicus

Toshiharu Minabe, Yoshiaki Sakamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There are a few reports measuring accurate position of the umbilicus in relation to anatomical landmarks. According to the data of those reports, umbilicus locate in the linea alba at the highest level of the iliac crest, the position of which is higher than the anterior superior iliac spine by 4 to 9 cm depending on the age or the height of the body. The umbilical position is also an important landmark to indicate intramuscular vasculature of the rectus abdominis muscle, dominant perforators of the deep inferior epigastric artery, and the dermatome of the 10th thoracic nerve. The shape of the umbilicus was studied in 254 people aged between 0 to 16 years of age by measuring the height, width and depth in relation to the age and the height of body. As a result, the mean size of the umbilicus in each age group is shown as 10.4 x 15.0 x 4.2 mm under 3 years, 13.0 × 15.1 × 5.5 mm in 4 to 7 years, 14.0 × 14.3 × 6.3 mm in 8 to 11 years and 18.1×14.2×8.0 mm in 12 to 16 years, the data of which indicated the height of the umbilicus increased with the age and height of the body, whereas the width of the umbilicus remained almost unchanged. The patterns of umbilical shape were divided in to 4 types : Channel type, Bell type, Oval type and Almond type. The former types were the major shape form in the younger age group, whereas the latter types were the major shape form in the older age group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-17
Number of pages7
JournalJapanese Journal of Plastic Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jan 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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