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I Had a Tummy Tuck 2 Years Ago and my Belly Button Area Never Has Healed! Always Oozes, What is the Problem? (photo)

I had the tummy tuck 2 years ago. Area by belly button still raw. Been to many doctors, including dermatoligist. The last time I saw the plastic surgeon he said go to dermatologist. I have been many times and nothing helps! Last time I saw plastic surgeon he mentioned that a last resort is cutting the area out? Has anyone heard of that before? I am so tired of it not healing. I am not diabetic.

Doctor Answers (9)

Belly button not healing for two years should be investigated



Its very rare to have wound healing problems this long.  I agree with getting a biosy for starters but after the results come back I would surgically evaluate for either a foreing body reaction to permanent suture or for the presence of an infected pseudobursa.

All the best,

Dr Repta

Web reference:

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Healing problems after a tummy tuck / abdominoplasty


this is most likely do to the sutures used under the skin on the muscle.

i wouldn't cut it our but would surgically explore the area to see what is causing the inflamation around the belly button

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Chronic Umbilical Wound


Two years!  I don't blame you for being frustrated.  I would say that there is a high probability that you have a permanent suture that is causing the problem.  It's probably one used to plicate your muscles.  An exploration of the area with local anesthesia should uncover the source.  If it is a suture it can be removed.  Your wound will heal up and that should be the end of it.  Cultures would be helpful in case there is a chronic infection that needs to be treated.  If your original surgeon won't do it, see another, more experienced one.  A dermatologist is not the person to take care of this.  A plastic surgeon will know what and where to look for the suture.  Good Luck!

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Chronic Belly Button Drainage Needs Surgery


A chronic non-healing belly button after a  tummy tuck is a sign of an underlying problem. This may be due to chronic irritation of a knot from a fascial plication suture, a retained knot from a dermal suture used to close the belly button or a portion of the umbilical stalk that is trapped under the skin creating a chronic draining cyst due to epithelial turnover. The cyst problem is the most likely explanation and I have seen several patients who have developed the same problem. At two yeats after your tummy tuck this is a surgical problem. There is an underlying problem and the entire belly button needs to be excised and reclosed for a final solution.

Web reference:

Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Non-healing belly button after tummy tuck


Based on your clinical history and the photo, the reason this is not healing is likely due to a non-absorbable suture which is preventing the skin from healing. The photo has the characteristic look of a foreign body reaction with the foreign body likely being a suture. You should have your surgeon evaluate this and possibly explore this under local anesthesia. Once the suture is removed, the wound should heal.

Best wishes,


Web reference:

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 122 reviews

Maybe a retained suture

It looks as if you have a chronic low grade infection which could have resulted from a retained suture, like one of the sutures used to bring your muscles together. See a plastic surgeon, and get your old op report.

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New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Nonhealing belly button after tummy tuck


If it has been that long and you continue to have a problem with your belly button not healing, you need to have a thorough examination. The most likely reasons would be an infection that has never been adequately treated or a permanent suture that has gotten infected or at least contaminated.  Your surgeon can tell you if any permanent sutures were put in. You can request a copy of your operative report and ask another question on this site if the sutures listed in the report are dissolving or permanent.

Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Umbilicus problem two years after tummy tuck


My first question is whether any physician has taken a culture of the care to make a diagnosis.  Could this be a bacterial infection or MRSA?  You need a differential diagnosis before a treatment plan can be made.  I'd encourage you to see another plastic surgeon for a second opinion and to ask your dermatologist or surgeon to take a biopsy of the area to rule out anything unusual.

New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Non-healing umblical wound


I assume that you have be followed by your initial plastic surgeon and he sent you to a dermatologist?  Ask your surgeon for a referral to a more experienced plastic surgeon for another opinion.  Without an examine and a working knowledge of your case,  I can only speculate as to how to proceed.  A retained foreign body or suture could cause a none healing wound.  I imagine the dermatologist would have done a biopsy if they were so inclined.  Sorry for your vexing problem. Keep exploring your options!

Tyler Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 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.

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