What Can Cause a Lot of Drainage from the Belly Button 4weeks After a Full Tummy Tuck and Lipo?

What Can Cause a Lot of Drainage from the Belly Button 4weeks After a Full Tummy Tuck and Lipo, Been on Antibiotic for 2weeks.

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Doctor Answers 9

Drainage from the belly button 4 weeks after tummy tuck and lipo

There can be many causes of drainage from the belly button 4 weeks after a tummy tuck and liposuction. Theses can include infection, fat necrosis (fat cells dying), a seroma (fluid accumulation) and even a deep suture coming through the skin. Specifying what you mean by "a lot" as well as the nature of the drainage (color, consistency, odor, etc.) can be helpful.

Make sure that your surgeon keeps a close eye on you.

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Drainage from Umbilicus after Tummy Tuck?

Thank you for the question.

Only your plastic surgeon will be in the position to make an accurate diagnosis and determine the cause of the persistent drainage from around the umbilicus.  Treatment will depend on making this accurate diagnosis. Close follow-up will be necessary.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,484 reviews

Drainage from Belly Button after Tummy Tuck

Difficult to answer without an exam. There may be some persistent drainage from the belly button if it is not fully healed at this point. There can be various reasons and I would encourage you to visit with your surgeon and discuss this directly and ask him if this is normal for his procedures and is there anything to worry about and if so what can be done.

Jonathan Weiler, MD
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Persistent drainage after abdominoplasty

Drainage can persist and seroma or infection must be ruled out. Your plastic surgeon may want to open the wound and place a drain. The fluid should be cultured to insure that the antibiotics prescribed are appropriate. Fat necrosis or a suture reaction can also produce drainage, either of which would require surgical exploration.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Seroma, fat necrosis, and potential infection can all lead to wound leakage

It is unusual to have drainage from a belly button 4 weeks after surgery.  Seroma (retained body fluid), fat necrosis (dead fat cells that melt and liquify), and an infection (abscess) can create a fluid discharge.  Around the belly button the most worrisome possibility is that your surgeon used a permanent suture to tighten your muscles and now the suture is infected.  If that is the case the suture may have to be removed surgically to resolve the infection.


Martin Jugenburg, MD, FRCSC

Toronto Cosmetic Surgery Institute

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 457 reviews

Drainage after tummy tuck

It is not usual to have drainage 1 month after an abdominoplasty. If the fluid is relatively clear, it most likely represents a seroma. Other symptoms of this would be persistent swelling in the lower abdomen and the feeling of having fluid underneath the skin. If the drainage is more thick or pus-like, then an infection is more likely. This may need antibiotics or even operative drainage and irrigation. You should certainly alert your surgeon and let him/her know of your concerns. 

Wm. Todd Stoeckel, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Drainage from belly button following tummy tuck

It is possible that you have an ongoing seroma (collection of fluid) that is draining through an area where your belly button failed to heal properly.  An ultrasound might confirm this.  Antibiotics would not improve this situation. A persistent seroma would require aspiration or placement of a drain so that the belly button could heal.

Scott Chapin, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Drainage 4 weeks after tummy tuck


Thank you for the question.  If you have been healing well and have developed drainage at 4 week after your tummy tuck you and your plastic surgeon should suspect infection of deep sutures with or without an infected pseudo-bursa.  The diagnosis will depend on examination and your history.  A CT scan may help but often there are only two treatments: conservative antibiotics or surgical exploration.  

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 162 reviews

Drainage at umbilicus

At several weeks after a full tummy tuck and liposuction, drainage from the umbilicus can represent infection, seroma, to name a few.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 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.