3 Months Post Tummy Tuck, Bb is Now Red and Oozing?

I am 3 months post a full tummy tuck with abdominal wall repair. I have posted in regards to the results of the tummy tuck and breast lift but, today when I undressed I noticed some crusty stuff around my belly button. After closer examination, I noticed the belly button appears red and oozing stuff. I am now very concerned! The one thing I LOVED from this whole ordeal was my BB. Why would it get infected now? how dangerous is this? Also, my tummy seems extra swollen yesterday and today.

Doctor Answers 3

Belly Button Red At 3 Months - Probably A Stitch Absess

Rarely do I see three plastic surgeons agreeing on anything, but on this question, you have a hat trick.  All three plastic surgeons answering your question concur that the most likely explanation of your redness and crusting on your belly button 3 months post operatively is that you have what is referred to as a stitch abscess. 

A stitch abscess is when a subcuticular dissolving suture fails to dissolve and creates a little pustule which, when ruptured, leaves a crust on the skin and redness around this crusted area.  What dissolves most subcuticular sutures are macrophages.  When these cells move in, it is part of the immune system, the redness you see around this area is inflammation and not infection, and the pus in these pustules is dissolving suture plus dying white blood cells but lacking the bacteria necessary to call it an infection.

The good news is if you wipe away the crust, these things tend to go away on their own.  However, some plastic surgeons recommend a simple topical antibiotic to prevent secondary infections.

Bb is Now Red and Oozing

At three months, the likeliest cause would be a buried suture reaching the surface. A call to your surgeon and an office visit to remove the suture should solve the problem. And if I am wrong, the surgeon should be able to determine the problem and address it. I would not consider this dangerous.

Thanks and best wishes. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews




It is very hard to determine what is going on without seeing you. What it seems and again unsure it can be a suture abscess. You need to be seen by your PS to get checked out ASAP. Do you have a fever?


Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
3.3 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

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