Umbilical Abscess from Ethibond Sutures?

I am about 9 years post umbilical hernia repair. I have had many surgeries in my abdomen over the years ranging from Laporscopic surgery for gallbladder removal, C-section, tummy tuck, and laporscopic for endometriosis. The last several years I have noticed a large lump at the top of my belly button. I have been working out lately and it has casued discomfort. I saw the DR today and he thinks it could be from Ethibond sutures. Possibly an abcess. Im awaiting a CT scan. Any thoughts?

Doctor Answers (5)

Fixing a belly button problem in Los Angeles

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Our office specializes in belly button revision surgery. The CT scan will clarify whether the cause is infectious or scar related. Both situations can be corrected. 

Raffy Karamanoukian MD FACS


Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Umbilical Abscess from Ethibond Sutures? ANS:

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I would think that an abscess would have shown itself by now, but it could be a chronic granuloma (scar tissue) from the ethibond or it could be a hernia..the CT should help but  I have removed Ethibond sutures years later...They can work themselves up!!!

John J. Corey, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Umbilical Abscess from Ethibond Sutures

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If an Ethibond or other permanent suture was used it could well be the source of your current problem. There are other possible sources, and the CT scan should identify any hernia recurrence or other anatomic problem. 

An infection at the site of a permanent suture is unusual this late after surgery, but does happen on occasion.

Thanks for the question, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

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Abscess from Ethibond Sutures

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It is possible as Ethibond sutures are permanent and have a tendency to have these types of problems, even many years after surgery. It sounds like your doctor is on the right track.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
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Lump above t he umbilicus

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Thank you for the question. I think you re on the right track. Getting the CT is a good start. However, it is difficult toaccept that this an abscess or infection that has been going for several years. Scar tissue, recurrent hernia or endometriosis nodule are all possible causes. Best wishes.

Moneer Jaibaji, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
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