Hole in Belly Button Post-Tummy Tuck

I had a Tummy Tuck more than 2 months ago, and I have a hole in my belly button; it looks like it's open all the way and I'm worried that it might get infected. What should I do?

Doctor Answers 15

Belly button wound after tummy tuck

Thanks for your question. Sometimes small skin level separations can occur and usually heal quickly.

It is a little more unusual to have a wound 2 months out. Causes can include retained suture that your body is having trouble healing around, it may represent an area of too much tension that has separated or areas of decreased blood supply.

Speak to your plastic surgeon as soon as you can. You may require dressing changes or revisional surgery.

I hope this helps.

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Hole after tummy tuck

Usually this type of problem either solves itself in that the hole closes on its own, or is an easy fix when an errant suture is removed.

Occasionally, it may be necessary to do a minor revision on the area if the above two measures don't work.

In any event, your plastic surgeon should have a quick answer for you.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Call your Doctor

Hi there,

It's difficult to say what might be going on, but it sounds like you may not be healing properly in the area. I would call my surgeon and go in for an evaluation. It may be that nothing needs to be done, and you are advised to allow the wound to heal, with a scar revision in the future, but it would be good to make sure that there is not something else going on that might need treatment. Give your surgeon a call.

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

If you have any concerns - see your doctor

Anything like what you described should be seen by your doctor as soon as possible. Most belly buttons should be closed by 2 months after surgery.

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Belly button recovery with tummy tuck

You may be having delayed healing of one of the sutured areas, or more commonly, you may have a suture extruding through your skin. Both will heal with time and care. 

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Belly Button Wound after Abdominoplasty, (Tummy Tuck)

The wound is on tension, and the belly button is often not a highly vascularized structure.  Sometimes a spitting stitch can also get in the way of wound healing.  These are usually things that will heal without problem.  You should go to your Plastic Surgeon who will diagnose the issue and come up with a treatment plan.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Hole in belly button after a tummy tuck

Tummy tucks are a popular and extremely effective way to contour the abdomen. Patients who receive this procedure can expect a significant recovery process. It sounds as if a small portion of the incision may have opened in the area of your bellybutton. Depending on the location, your body may heal this with minimal scarring. At this time, you should have your plastic surgeon assess the wound so that they can determine if you need specific wound care or if the wound should be closed in a direct fashion.

To learn more about tummy tucks, see photos, and help you decide which one is best for you, please visit us at the link below:

Pat Pazmino, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Retained suture most likely causing the problem

More than likely there is a retained foreign body. This could be from a suture used to repair the muscle / fascia layer, or from a suture used to repair the umbilicus. In either event, the offending suture must be removed in order to clear up the infection. A trip back to your plastic surgeon is on order. 

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

See your surgeon ASAP


Small separations can occur and usually heal OK. It sounds like you are describing a larger separation. This may require a revision and sooner than usual, but first you need to heal. You surgeon needs to be involved here soon. 

Best Regards.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Speak with your plastic surgeon

Having a small separation around the new umbilicus (belly button) can occur. It can occur as there is diminished blood supply in this area following abdominoplasty as well as too much tension. This type of wound will usually heal on it's own but wet to dry dressing changes with normal saline solution will help clean it up and stimulate some granulation tissue. Revision is usually not necessary. Check with your plastic surgeon.

Sanjay Grover, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 225 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.