Can my belly button not heal properly if the bottom part of one stitch is left in it?

I had a tummy tuck 3 weeks ago I had the stitches in my belly button removed 2 days ago. The next day I noticed my doctor forgot to take 3 of them out so I took two of them out myself with no problem but one of them I cut the top off by mistake so the bottom part of the stitch the part that's under your skin is still in there and I can't get it out because none of it is sticking out to grab it. I asked my plastic surgeon and he said it will fall out on its own but I'd like other opinions on it

Doctor Answers 4

Retained Belly Button Stitch

Thank you for your question.  Your surgeon is correct that the retained stitch that was cut off will likely come out on its own in time.  Even if it doesn't, the material is pretty inert and unlikely to cause a healing problem.  Best wishes on your recovery!

Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Belly button sutures

Sutures are made of different materials. Some are "absorbable" and are not permanent. THe body has the ability to break them down over time. In some cases, the process of breaking down the sutures can lead to an inflammatory response which may result in the tissues appearing reddened. 
Permanent sutures are made of material that cannot be broken down by the body and thus remain unchanged or inert. In some cases the rectus fascia is repaired with permanent sutures in other cases very slowly absorbable sutures are used which allow the scar tissue to form before the sutures break down. 
In the belly button both kinds of sutures can be used. The non absorbable sutures are often used at the skin level as they cause the least inflammatory response. Timing of removal of sutures is at the surgeons discretion based on wound healing. 
Follow up with your plastic surgeon is always a good idea. For second opinions check the Smart Beauty Guide for a board certified plastic surgeon who is also a member of the prestigious American Society for Aesthetic Surgery.

R. Brannon Claytor, MD, FACS
Bryn Mawr Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Leftover stitch on the belly button

Hi, there.  Depending on what kind of suture was used, the suture may "fall out on its own."  However, if your belly button skin gets irritated or if the stitch does not fall out by itself, please see your plastic surgeon to get the rest of the suture material out.  Best regards.

Sugene Kim, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Belly button sutures

When you cut the knot of a suture and leave the loop of the suture buried subcutaneously the suture will likely work its way out. However, I usually try to find one end to the suture and remove it. I don't recommend you try doing this on your own, particularly 3 week following surgery as you might disrupt the closure.  If the suture does not fall out in a week or so, I recommend you discuss with your surgeon. 

Jason S. Cooper, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 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.