Belly button infected? (photos)

Is my belly button infected? I went to the dr last week and he said it's fine, but it wasn't this red.

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Doctor Answers 5

Potential of Belly Button Infection

It may take several months for a tummy tuck patient’s scars to soften, for sensation to return, and for relaxing of the tight sensation in the abdomen. In the case of extensive surgery, abdominoplasty recovery can be uncomfortable and may take longer. Scars may stay red, become thick or widen. It can take 12-18 months for the scars to settle.

These can be improved with topical treatments such as BioCorneum, Scar Guard, Scar Fade and Mederma. Redness can be improved with laser treatments and the scars can be kept narrow with products such as Embrace.  On occasion, keloids or hypertrophic scars can develop and will need treatment including Kenalog, 5FU and laser.

If your belly button is where your incision was placed there is always a chance that there could be an infection. While there is usually swelling and drainage with odor in the case of an infection you should never hesitate to visit your surgeon personally to have the area examined in order to make sure that healing is progressing well. Good luck!

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Belly button compromised

but an infection would present with spreading redness and more drainage.  As feeling is probably deficient there, you cannot use increasing pain as a sign of infection.  Your surgeon is aware and if you appreciate progressive and spreading redness, you must let your surgeon know.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Belly button infection?

There does seem to be some redness and inflammation. I think it would be best if you made an appointment to see your surgeon to be assessed in person. Always best to err on the side of caution. 


Kouros Azar

Kouros Azar, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Bellybutton Necrosis

It does look like their may be some inflammatory process going on, it is difficult to tell from the photograph but you may be loosing some of the actual tissue, sometimes known as bellybutton necrosis. Make sure you see your plastic surgeon and with proper care it will most likely go on to heal quite well. Best of Luck. Dr. Kachenmeister. 

Robert M. Kachenmeister, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Erythema around belly button following abdominoplasty

It is difficult to tell by the photo but it appears that belly button may be struggling to receive the blood supply that it needs in order to appear pink and healthy. If there is "ischemia" the belly button can appear dark, dusky, blue or even black. This will cause some redness around the umbilicus but it is not necessarily infection. If you are using Neosporin or triple antibiotic ointment, I would use pure Bacitracin as many patients will develop an allergic reaction to the triple antibiotic ointment that looks like infection. As always if you have questions please discuss them with your surgeon who knows you best.

Bruce K. Smith, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 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.