Keloid After Tummy Tuck?

Hello, ive have my sx back in june 2012 -tummy tuck. I now have a keloid scar in my belly button. I went back to the hospital i got the sx done, they suggested steroids n mayb laser. Is it possible just to do a new belly button? I feel like my surgeon peeled my scab to early n this is what caused this ugly keloid scar so depressing :( Plz help any info is gladly appreciated :)

Doctor Answers 7

Keloid after a tummy tuck

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Thank you for your question.  A keloid is a scar tumor and can grow quite large.  Many times it is really a Hyperthrophic scar and responds very well to steroid injections and pressure treatment.  At times a re-excision of the scar can be helpful.  Good luck

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Keloid After Tummy Tuck

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Thank you for your question. Injections with steroids are the "gold standard" for treating keloids, which is not to say that they always work, but they are usually the best starting point. If this fails, it is possible to re-do the navel, but a recurrence of the keloid is quite possible, so this is rarely the best first treatment. 

The main factor is keloid formation is genetic. Removal of a scab is not likely a contributing factor. 

Do follow up with your surgeon.

Best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Keloids Benefit From Steroid Injection

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Thank you for your question. Steroid injections are a reasonable treatment at this time.  Lasers are still experimental for the treatment of keloids.  It is reccommended that you wait at least one year prior to any scar revision procedure.  Your keloid was not caused by your surgeon removing a scab, it is due to your body's natural healing ability.  While it is an undesireable result, it is not completely preventable.  Discuss this matter further with your surgeon so that you can initiate the appropriate treatment at the earliest possible time. Good Luck! 

George Bitar, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Keloids on the belly button

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Our office specializes in the treatment of keloids and we often see keloids on the belly button following tummy tuck surgery. Often, this does not require surgery and can be managed with a combination protocol that involves laser, IIT, and topical therapy. We often begin with topical application of Plato's Scar Serum followed by the above-mentioned treatments. 


Dr. Karamanoukian 

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Keloid of belly button

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Any re-operation over a keloid will only make the keloid worse because it is triggered by trauma. Silicone sheeting and scar massage may be better. The peeled scab does not have anything to do with keloid. A keloid is your own body overproducing scar tissue past the boundries of the incision.

Keloid Scar Treatment after Tummy Tuck

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            I would recommend excision of the scar with steroid injection at the time of excision followed by q 6 week injections x 2 if appropriate.  I would wait until a full year's time to assess the scar. 

            Excision with radiation holds the best cure rates, but the radiation therapy is expensive. 

            In addition, make sure that your doctor has diagnosed you with a keloid scar and not a hypertrophic scar.  They have different character, treatments, and response rates, although there is overlap. 

            Good luck.

Scar care after tummy tuck

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Thank you for your post. In tummy tuck and other lift/tightening surgeries, tension is the enemy. The scar is healing gradually over 12 weeks or so, and until it is strong, it is the weakest link. As there is a great deal of tension in tummy tucks, body lifts, breast lifts, etc., the scar is at high risk of 'stretching' or widening. Silicone sheeting, although having the ability to make a scar flat, does nothing to prevent stretching of the scar. Creams or steroids or lasers also do not have the ability to prevent stretching of the scar. Those are used if scar is thick or dark, but not to reduce the wideness of the scar, which is the main problem. Massage also does not help keep the scar thin, and can actually worsen the scar in the first 12 weeks because you are actually adding tension to the scar. Massage is for softening a hard or thick scar, but if used early, will hasten the scar widening. Only tension reduction has the ability to keep the scar as thin as possible. You may notice in a lot of tummy tuck scars that the center portion of the scar is the widest with the sides toward the hips being the thinnest. This is because the maximum tension is at the center, and least amount on the sides. Embrace removes a lot of the tension by putting more tension on the skin on either side of the incision and drawing the incision together. It is expensive though at about $100 per week for 12 weeks. When patients do not want to spend the money for embrace, I tape the incision trying to remove as much tension as possible for 12 weeks and recommend no stretching back and to sit most of the time, keeping tension off the scar.
Best wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 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.