Belly Button Shrinking Discharge After Tummy Tuck? (photo)

I had my a tummy tuck and lipo in 7/12, it has been three months and my belly button continues to have some white discharge, it does not smell. But now all around my belly button is red and is shrinking. It is so small that not even a cotton swab fits. Unfortunately I can not see my surgeon since this procedure in another country. I don't know what to do please help?

Doctor Answers 6

Drainage after tummy tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

You have some sort of inflammatory process going on. Please see your surgeon or another plastic surgeon for evaluation and help.

New York Plastic Surgeon

I would try and see a plastic surgeon in your community

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}


Thank you for the photo.  There is an inflammatory process occurring inside your tummy tuck area that the body is continuing to try and deal with.  I suspect you will need someone to go back in a repair/remove the issue at some point.  It can be difficult to find a plastic surgeon to take this job on but this is your best option.  It would be ideal to have a plastic surgeon that is experienced in tummy tuck revisions.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 170 reviews

Belly Button Shrinking Discharge After Tummy Tuck?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Two things are going on, possibly related, possibly not. 

There is an inflammatory process/infection, which may be related to something as simple as an undissolved suture that needs to be removed, to something more complex.

In addition, there is a hypertrophic scar that is narrowing the navel, and this will need to be addressed. Sometimes injections with kenalog can improve this. More likely an operative procedure may be needed after the drainage has completely stopped. 

You may have difficulty finding a plastic surgeon willing to manage another surgeons issues, and may need to start with your primary physician to try to get a referral. 

Best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Belly button infection after surgery done overseas

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

You have a significant problem with your umbilicus that probably involves a deep seated infection.  It is also likely that this problem has gone on way too long and will have long term consequences.

It is treatable but will most likely involve revisional surgery.

Not to belabor the point, but if such a problem occurred with a board certified plastic surgeon in this country, they would most likely have treated the problem immediately and at minimal or no cost and prevented your current suffering.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 188 reviews

Belly button shrinking may be from excessive scarring

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The combination of drainage from your belly button and its shrinking in size need to be addressed by a surgeon.  The drainage may be from infection.  If this is true you should be placed on antibiotics.  The redness and scarring appear to be due to an overgrowth of scar tissue.  This is suggestive of a keloid.  

Keloids are unpredictable but should be treated sooner than later.  Silicone injections can help as can silicone scar products.  Additional surgery is not the answer, at least not now.

This illustrates one of the risks of surgical tourism.  I would recommend that you seek consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon. 

Dr. Hargrave


Need to see a plastic surgeon

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I am sorry to hear you are having this problem. Unfortunately you are in the difficult situation many people find themselves when they travel outside the country for plastic surgery - you now have a complication with no one responsible for its treatment. You need to see a plastic surgeon. The problem could be an infected suture underneath, dead tissue from your belly button, or many other possibilities. The red inflamed skin is probably a fungal infection from the drainage macerating your skin. Apply an over-the-counter antifungal cream and powder, pack the wound with dry gauze as deep as you can to soak up the drainage and change as needed to keep area dry, and see a plastic surgeon as soon as possible.

Armin Moshyedi, MD
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon

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.