It's Been 9 Years Since my Tummy Tuck & Still Leaking from Belly Button? (photo)

At times bloody, smelly, sometimes more or less. A month ago I went back to my doc. who found a stitch coming out of my belly button! He pulled 2" out, cut it & put me on antibiotics. It's not red or painful anymore but is still draining! He then gave me heavy-duty antibiotics for 2 weeks--it's still draining. He wants me to stay on it but I don't want to become resistant & don't like the side effects. Does he not want to pay for the correction? Also I'm worried how my scar will look?!

Doctor Answers 5

Muscle Suture Reaction after Tummy Tuck

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While the muscle suture was the cause of the problem, its persistence indicates more of the suture may need to be removed (knot) that lies deep to completely resolve this foreign body problem. I have seen this a few times and if one does not get all of the suture out it does not completely resolve.

Drainage from Belly Button After Tummy Tuck

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During tummy tuck, deep sutures are used to repair muscles, fascia and the deeper layer of the skin.  Some of these sutures are permanent and some dissolve.  It is possible for the body to treat these sutures like a splinter and "spit" them out through incisions or through the skin.  Treatment for this situation is removal of the offending sutures and a course of antibiotics to control infection.  If drainage persists after removal of the suture material and the antibiotics are finished, that means that more suture material is likely still present.  A surgical procedure may be required for complete removal.  It sounds like your surgeon is working through that process with you now.  Keep close follow up with your surgeon and I feel confident that this situation will be resolved.

Philip E. Fleming, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon

Belly button drainage 9 months after a tummy tuck

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is not normal as you already know.  Removal of the infected suture should resolve this.  And if you have a sinus/hole, talk to your doctor about possibly packing the wound.  If there is no other suture material around there, it should heal.  If it doesn't, your surgeon will have to come up with a plan for exploring the area and removing any other foreign suture material.  Some doctors will charge for this, others do not.  It all depends on what your doctor's revision policy is.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Draining from belly button following tummy tuck

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Thanks for your e-mail. You have undoubtedly infected suture material that is still present in your abdominal wall. It should be an easy matter of removing it but it will require some type of surgery. Sorry that you are going through all of this but it should be easily fixed with a simple procedure. 

Shaun Parson, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

It's Been 9 Years Since my Tummy Tuck & Still Leaking from Belly Button?

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It has been 9 YEARS!!!! Why should the surgeon have to pay. It is a new issue that NEEDS surgical intervention. 

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.