Ask a doctor

Tummy Tuck Belly Button Question? (photo)

I'm 18 days post op an my belly button is looking blk, grey and red. I was told to ware the looser compression garment and to keep it clean ( which I do daily) but I'm not sure what I'm even looking for. It just seems to be getting darker so I'm refacing out for a little info. Please advise.

Doctor Answers (9)

Concerned About Belly Button Survival After TT - Any Comments Or Suggestions?

+1
Thank you for your challenging question.  It would appear that your RealSelf team of plastic surgical experts agree that your comments and photographs would indicate some decreased blood supply to the epithelium (skin) of your belly button.  Implicit in your question is the second question, is there anything I can do to increase the chances of my belly button surviving.
The obvious answer to the above question is to speak directly to your Board Certified plastic surgeon, ask for comments, advice and direction.  
If you were my patient, since I am not a therapeutic nihilist, I would have you place DMSO in and around the belly button 4-6 times per day to increase the choke vessels (redundant blood supply).  Also, I would seriously consider 3-4 trips to the hyperbaric chamber to improve the blood supply and also speed wound healing.  I am a firm believer in stopping the snowball at the top of the hill rather than three-quarters of the way down.  
Since your belly button is truly the only part of the tummy tuck you show the world, I agree with your concern. 


Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 185 reviews

Pretty standard appearance for navel after abdominoplasty.

+1

I don't see anything in the photograph this alarming. This is the way many navels look in the immediate postop.. It doesn't guarantee that things will necessarily turn out but I don't for now see any reason for worry.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Water under the bridge

+1

is a good way to describe your position... your belly button will determine whether it survives or not.  Good wound care as you are doing is the best and only option at this time.  Regardless of what happens, if your belly button is not 'normal', there are revisions that can be done to improve on that.  Focus on your healing at this time and don't waste energy on things that you cannot change.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

You might also like...

Dark belly button after tummy tuck.

+1

The blood supply to the belly button is somewhat compromised during a tummy tuck and sometimes the belly button will become dark and can get some blistering or some of the skin can peel off. If this is happening you should discuss it with your surgeon. Also anytime you have some redness that you are concerned about you should give your surgeon a call to ensure no infection is developing, although this can just be the healing process around the umbilicus after the surgery. If you are having some wound or belly button healing problems, your surgeon will be able to teach you good wound care. The healing process takes several months even with perfect healing, so over the next few months you will see your results settle in.

Shannon O'Brien, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Belly Button Healing after Tummy Tuck

+1

The belly button in a tummy tuck can be the slowest area to heal and look 'right' in many cases. This is because the circulation is often somewhat compromised and it is prone to small closure openings and some darker skin changes. Follow your plastic surgeon's instructions and be patient with this area as it can be 6 to 8 weeks before it looks more normal to you.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Ischemic changes to the umbilicus after an abdominoplasty

+1

It is possible that you are having some degree of lack of circulation to the umbilicus.  This can cause the area to drain and for skin to slough.  It is generally a self limited condition and generally heals on its own.  In any event there is nothing that can be done until it is completely healed at that time a revision may be needed.  Make your plastic surgeon aware of your concerns.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Black, grey and red, belly button after tummy tuck

+1

The discoloration you describe can be caused by poor circulation to the belly button after your tummy tuck. Have your surgeon take a look at the area and suggest a care plan for proper healing.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Belly button issues

+1

It's too soon after your tummy tuck to see the final result of your belly button.  Check with your plastic surgeon to see what skin care is best, and you'll see the final results in about 2-3 months.
 

Jeffrey E. Schreiber, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Concerns about Umbilicus after Tummy Tuck Surgery?

+1

Thank you for the question and pictures. It is difficult to provide you with precise advise but it appears to me that your umbilicus is hyper pigmented as opposed to underperfused or necrotic. Of course, your plastic surgeon will be your best resource for more accurate diagnoses and/or reassurance.

 Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 681 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.