What is this? May 2015 got tummy tuck and over the months by navel began to close. (photos)

Now i have a painful irritable bulge above and around closed belly button.

Doctor Answers 8

Post Op Concern/ What is This?


Thank you for your question. Unfortunately it isn't possible to assess you with photos and you will need to be examined in person. I recommend that you contact your Plastic Surgeon to share your concern.

All the best

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

What is this? May 2015 got tummy tuck and over the months by navel began to close

You may have a fluid collection under the skin, See your plastic surgeon for an evaluation in person. 

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

CLosed navel and painful bulge 18 months after tummy tuck

Thank you for your question about your tummy tuck.

  • You need to see your plastic surgeon in follow-up for treatment.
  • Your history and photos suggest that your skin healed over the belly button
  • And that you now have essentially a cyst under the skin.
  • This will not self-correct.
  • You will need a revision to correct this.

Always consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes, Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Tummy tuck navel sealed.

Thanks for your question. Based upon your photos I believe it most likely that your belly button stalk has closed over. Over long periods of time the skin cells of the stalk shed and continue to accumulate creating a mass. If this is what you have then the opening up the belly button stalk and reinsetting or removing the stalk will usually solve the problem. If it is reinset it will bear watching because sometimes it will close over again.

There are other things that your ps will have to check for such as a hernia, retained stitch or other source. Check in promptly because  even if it just the stalk, sometimes it can become infected.

Adam Tattelbaum, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

Healing Period after Tummy Tuck

It may take several months for a tummy tuck patient’s scars to soften, for sensation to return, and for relaxing of the tight sensation in the abdomen. In the case of extensive surgery, abdominoplasty recovery can be uncomfortable and may take longer. Scars may stay red, become thick or widen. It can take 12-18 months for the scars to settle.

These can be improved with topical treatments such as BioCorneum, Scar Guard, Scar Fade and Mederma. Redness can be improved with laser treatments and the scars can be kept narrow with products such as Embrace.  On occasion, keloids or hypertrophic scars can develop and will need treatment including Kenalog, 5FU and laser.

Now, you are very close to the end of that ultimate 18 month period and it is possible that there is something not progressing properly with your healing. It would be best to visit your surgeon to have the area evaluated with his knowledge of your case to make sure that healing is going well, or if something will need to be done to aid the healing process. Good luck!

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Belly button closed

It looks like the scar around your belly button has contracted and closed off a space so that the base of your belly button does not connect to the outside.  You will need to see a plastic surgeon to get this corrected.

Alastair J. Platt, FRCS (plast)
Hull Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews


Sorry to hear about your tummy tuck issue.  Regardless of what it is, it sounds like you need a plastic surgeon to take a look in there.  Changes are there is either a collection of cells/fluid from the belly button or some sort of pseudo-bursa.  Both situations need to be addressed surgically.  I would touch base with your plastic surgeon and get the process started to be seen.

Good luck.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

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

Possible hernia

It's hard to tell from the photos but you may have developed an umbilical hernia.  I would suggest returning to see the surgeon who performed your tummy tuck for an examination and discussion of what might be done to correct this.

Scott Thellman, MD
Lawrence Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 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.