My Belly Button is Stil Oozing Fluid Twelve Weeks Post Op, Why?

I started Cipro and my PS did an exploratory to search for a possible permanent stitch that he thought may be causing the problem. He found nothing, even after using dye to follow a path to where it was. Two weeks later he used a silver nitrate after removing the stitches. It is still oozing, no odor and now I am quite concerned. Next he is talking about doing a culture. What else could be causing this issue? Thank you - Gale

Doctor Answers 1

Oozing belly button 3 months post-op.

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This does sound like a contaminated suture (from bacteria, which is why a culture is also a good idea), and removal is the way to deal with this. Unfortunately, your surgeon likely used more than a few permanent sutures in the course of your muscle repair, and more than one of them may be the source of this drainage.

Antibiotics are certainly appropriate, but will usually NOT sterilize contaminated permanent sutures, especially braided sutures like Tevdek, Ethibond or others. (Bacteria "hide" in the microscopic interstices in the braid.) So until all of the contaminated sutures are out, you may continue to experience this problem.

No odor is good, and your surgeon is doing what most all of us would do in this situation. I'm sorry this has happened, but your doctor is following the usual way for dealing with this issue when it occurs. Best wishes!

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