What Do I Do About Skin Separation Below Belly Button After Tummy Tuck? (photo)

Mommy Makeover 4 wks 3 days ago. I had a small spot in the lower area of my belly button approximately 1 week ago that continued to split open over a few days. I was unable to make the appointment due to my husband injuring his back. So I rescheduled, unfortunately he is out of office until next Friday. I have no fever, drainage, or pain. Concerned I should be doing something more than polysporin and gauze. Even tried a saline wet to dry.

Doctor Answers 17

Belly Button Wound After Mommy Makeover Tummy Tuck

Thank you for your question. The wound care you are doing sounds appropriate.

The wound has not split open. There has been some surface skin cell loss which should heal in very nicely and a small white scar should retract over a few months and not be noticeable.

The shape of the belly button looks excellent.

This is not wound separation--it appears to be a compression sore from your abdominal binder!

You are treating this properly--except to remove the source of the problem! I have seen this in patients who wear their abdominal binder or elastic compression garment so tight is "folds" the skin and causes superficial skin loss. There was never an incision  or scar here, but your photos clearly show the loss of the skin surface, and the above hypothesis is quite likely the culprit.

Unless you stop the extra-firm compression (verify with your surgeon that this is OK), this could end up with a small permanent mark. Please let it heal without creasing this area; it should reepithelialize rapidly without continuous compression/folding. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Wound separation after TT

It looks like you are doing the right thing and that your upcoming visit is appropriate.  If you develop increasing redness, swelling or fever, make the vists asap. Otherwise, wound care and time will heal this.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Conservative Dressing Changes

Thank you for your question and photo.  The small area of skin should be kept clean and covered with antibiotic ointment and a dressing.  Schedule an apointment to discuss with your surgeon.  It should heal well. Best wishes.

Robert F. Centeno, MD, FACS
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Scar under the umbilicus after an abdominoplasty

I am not sure that I understand the etiology of your would separation but it appears to have healed at this point.  In the future the scar can be revised.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Healling after Mommy Makeover surgery

I have not seen a open wound like that after a tummy tuck procedure but it does not look infected from the pictures or by your description. Keep it clean with dilute hydrogen peroxide and apply the antibiotic ointment until you see your surgeon. If it looks infected (red, swollen, foul smelling drainage) see him ASAP. Should heal fine over time.

Good luck

Belly button wound healing problems after tummy tuck

small areas of wound healing problems such as shown by you is very common. It is caused mostly by affect of swelling on skin circulation around the umbilicus. These wound heal well and without any noticable scars if the wounds are cleaned with with soap and water and moisterized with Vaseline.

Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Belly Button Area Splitting Open

   Keep the area clean.  I have not seen this after tummy tuck at the belly button, but it should heal in and contract nicely.  This should be a fine scar over time.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

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

Simple Wound Care-- Superficial Separation

Your pictures suggest a relatively superficial separation of the skin beneath the umbilicus.The umbilicus itself appears to be intact and not involved with the process.At this point, there’s no evidence of infection.The cause of this wound isn’t clear but it may be related to tissue ischemia.
At this time, simple wound care is appropriate.In this case, dressing changes with polysporin is probably appropriate.It’s important to consult your plastic surgeon as soon as possible so he can evaluate the wound and institute appropriate treatment.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Area should heal on its own

Thanks for your ? and pic. Looks like it is almost healed. Difficult to say what caused it, but I agree with the others in that it doesn't look like an incision that separated. I would continue your ointment and gauze but don't let it get too soupy with too much ointment. You are really just trying to keep it from getting too dry. Your plastic surgeon will probably have a better answer for you during your next visit. Best of Luck!

M. Scott Haydon, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 90 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.