POD 9, Hard, Red Skin Under Belly Button That Is Not Improving?

I had a TT on 2/5. Since my surgery, I have an indurated area that extends from the midline of my incision. It is two inches long, and forms a triangular pattern, with the apex under my belly button. At my last appt, he placed me on Keflex. I have also, per my doctor's instructions, kept my binder off when I am not up out of bed. I am concerned for possible blood flow issues, or problems with skin dying in this area. Can anyone tell me if this is is something that is seen routinely postoperatively?

Doctor Answers 6

Post op tummy tuck

Without  an examination it is impossible to diagnose your problem. It could be anything from normal post op swelling to an infection with fluid collection.  Follow up with your surgeon for evaluation.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Red Skin Under Belly Button After Tummy Tuck

It is difficult to comment on your situation without a photograph.  However, the area that you describe is the area that can have blood supply problems following a tummy tuck.  Tobacco users are especially susceptible to blood-supply-related healing problems. 

I agree with the antibiotic to prevent/treat infection. I would dress the area with Xeroform gauze or antibiotic ointment and plain gauze.  Other than these measures, there is not much to do other than wait for healing to occur and follow up frequently with your surgeon.

Philip E. Fleming, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Hard Area Under Belly Button After Tummy Tuck

Without a picture it is impossible to say for sure what your problem is.  It is common however for there to be more swelling and firmness to the skin in the area just under the belly button in the immediate post-operative period.  Make sure your surgeon examines you and discusses this area with you.  Also make sure that you take the antibiotics as prescribed and report to your surgeon whether or not they are helping.

Sacha Obaid, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 135 reviews

Induration after tummy tuck

Thanks for your inquiry, without a picture it hard to help you, but I always believe close follow-up with your plastic surgeon is the most important thing, and you seem to be doing it.

Vishnu Rumalla, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 201 reviews

Redness of Skin at POD 9 after Tummy Tuck

   The skin redness may be a suture reaction or abscess, cellulitis, or something else.  Skin dying in this area or any other area is very unusual.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Hard, Red Skin Under Belly Button That Is Not Improving?

Despite your verbal description, I really would need a photo to make any useful response. If blood flow may be an issue, you should be followed closely by your surgeon, and try to keep the area moist either with antibiotic ointment or  a dressing like Xeroform. If you are a smoker, stop now. Skin loss is much more common in smokers.


All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 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.