Bleeding from Belly Button 3 Years Post-op

I had a tummytuck 3 years ago. I have started bleeding through the navel and have slight pain,my stomach feels bloated. Since I have moved out of the state I had my surgery in, my new doctor said it is not a hernia. Is this normal?

Doctor Answers 7

Bleeding from belly button 3 years after tummy tuck is NOT normal.

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You should see your plastic surgeon (if possible) or another ABPS-certified plastic surgeon who can assess this concern. This likely is caused by a "permanent" suture that has eroded through the inside of the thin umbilical skin, causing the bleeding you notice. Unfortunately, this opening to the outside means that the retained suture material has also come into contact with external bacteria, keeping this area from healing, and perhaps contributing to your other symptoms. These are important additional symptoms, and should be evaluated by your plastic surgeon (who ideally is fully trained in general surgery as well), or perhaps a general surgeon in consultation with your plastic surgery specialist.

Please do not ignore this hoping it will "go away" on its own! Good luck!

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Bleeding post tummy tuck

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It is not normal to have bleeding three years postop.

You should see a plastic surgeon to assess the problem.  Hopefully it is just a sequestrum, or retained suture, for which an umbilicoplasty would be performed.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Tummy Tuck - Bleeding from Belly Button 3 Years Post-op

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No, it's not normal.

That doesn't necessarily mean it's a huge problem.  My first concern would have been to rule out a hernia, not because bleeding is typical of a hernia but because that is potentially the most urgent problem.  Knowing that it's not a hernia is comforting.

The next possibility, though, is that it's related to your TT - possibly a retained suture (as has been suggested) or some scar tissue or some other problem like that.  I would advise you to contact your plastic surgeon, or another plastic surgeon is that is not possible or desirable and have him or her look at it.  It will most likely be something that can be addressed without too much discomfort but it is important to find that out for sure.  And contacting your PS is the next and most appropriate step.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Bleeding incision three years after tummy tuck

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Bleeding in the belly button three years after tummy tuck may indicate a contaminated suture which has formed a suture abscess. Unlike a dissolving suture, the permanent suture will hold bacteria and inflammation and will need attention from your doctor.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Bleeding from Belly Button 3 Years Post-op

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Bleeding from the navel 3 years after abdominoplasty is abnormal and most likely is related to the presence of foreign material such as suture.

Consult with a plastic surgeon.

Erel Laufer, MD
Dunedin Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Bleeding 3 years post surgery....

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In have not come across a case where a patient experienced bleeding 3 years post-operatively. Are you sure it is related to the tummy tuck and not something else. After meeting with the new doctor does he have any conclusions to what may have caused this? I would have to say it is not related to the tummy tuck, but I do not have enough details to make a determination.

Michael A. Fiorillo, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Tummy tuck

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This is not normal to have bleeding from your belly button this far out after surgery. Sometimes you can have some granulation tissue or some other issue that will have to be looked at.  A good physical examination may reveal the problem, but other investigational studies may have to be done as well.

I recommend that you try to find a plastic surgeon who can properly evaluate your problem and help this abnormal condition.

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.