Infected Navel After Three Weeks of Surgery?

Hi, I'm experiencing a case of a very large open wound.I had a TT three weeks ago. I previously had two surgeries in the same location. My navel has been oosing blood and puss, the inside I can see the fatty tissue of my navel.The surgeon says it should heal from the inside out. What can I do to save my navel?

Doctor Answers 5

Infected umbilicus 3 weeks post op

You appear to have some degree of vascular compromise to the umbilical stalk or an infected buried suture.  If this is due to a suture knot this will need to be removed or the wound will not heal.  This can happen for a variety of reasons.  With proper wound care it will eventually heal and should look okay.  You should be seen by your plastic surgeon who can direct your wound care.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Navel infection after tummy tuck

Most often an infection or opening in the belly button is related to poor circulation is the tissue. You mention two prior procedures in the navel, perhaps an umbilical heria repair which might have complicated the heallng. With proper wound care the belly button is a sort of scar in a sense and things will sort themselves out and heal. Your surgeon should be in frequent touch to resolve any infection and guide your wound care. Your tissue might not be saved, however touch ups and revisions can save the day.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Infected navel after tummy tuck

Sorry to hear that you are having a delayed healing of the navel.  There is not much to do but to follow your plastic surgeon's instruction/recommendation at this time.  Most times, open wound heals with local wound care (wet-to-dry or antibiotic ointment) +/- oral antibiotics.  Your plastic surgeon may decide to debride (clean) the area as needed. Continue to follow up with your plastic surgeon regularly untill the wound heals.  Good luck to you.

Sugene Kim, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Infected Navel after Tummy Tuck Surgery?

I'm sorry to hear about the complication you are experiencing. At this point,  besides close follow-up and following the instructions provided by your plastic surgeon, there is not much that you can do to “save” the navel. As you know, the cause of the healing issue is likely poor blood supply;  this situation cannot be reversed. However, with local wound care, good nutrition, antibiotic therapy if necessary, debridement of unhealthy tissue and/or unnecessary suture it is very likely that you will go on to heal over the course of the next few weeks. Sometimes, depending on exactly what the final appearance of the area is, revisionary surgery may become necessary.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Delayed healing of navel

Occasionally there can be a delay in the healing of the navel. Especially if you have had prior surgery in the area, or simultaneous repair of an umbilical hernia. It should heal on it's own with good local care. Just make sure your surgeon has cultured the drainage to be sure that you don't have an infection that needs antibiotics.

Ronald Schuster, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 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.