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Is It Normal for Your Belly Button to Close Up After a Tummy Tuck, and Can It Be Fixed?

Had full tummy tuck a year ago and have had belly button issues since. My dr. seems uncertain as to what to do. I was not overweight prior to surgey. When he tried to correct in Dec., he could definitely see a belly button inside. The correction did not work, and my bb closed up again. I tried using a marble and golf tee, but did not work. In the last week my bb blew up like a balloon and then popped. I assume this is because I have a hole that needs to breathe but can't. Any suggestions?

Doctor Answers (2)

Intermittently healing belly button

+1

Your belly button is a natural scar due to the camping and death of your umbilical cord following delivery. The blood supply is generally poor and therefore wound healing is unpredictable. If it was comlpletely dead (necrotic) the belly button would heal and close up. However, it opens up periodically because there is still some skin present. This skin will form a cyst like structure and intermiitently break open and drain to th surface. The treatment is to open it.


Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Persistent Scar closing of Belly Button after Tummy Tuck

+1

Without an examination much less a photograph it is hard to visualize what you are referring to. "Had full tummy tuck a year ago and have had belly button issues since. ...he tried to correct in Dec., .. The correction did not work, and my bb closed up again. I tried using a marble and golf tee, but did not work. In the last week my bb blew up like a balloon and then popped" It sounds like you had scar contracture around the belly button opening which closed the belly button down and that an attempt at revision failed. I'm not quite sure about the umbilical "explosion" comment.

Umbilical stenosis (closing) is not uncommon and is related to your racial makeup, the size of the belly button, the way it was cut and the way it was inset.  I assume your surgeon tried a different technique in December which also failed. A third revision may be needed  which may need aggressive splinting of the umbilicus with a marble for months and you may require injections of corticosteroids in addition the moment the contracture begins.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

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