Yellow and Crusting Belly Button After Tummy Tuck? (photo)

I am 3 week post op and my belly button looked great the first week but then it started to leak small amount of yellow and it seems to not want to heal. Per my surgeons orders I can let it dry out. So I am in the process of doing so. He also recommended washing with hibiclens soap 2x daily and applying rubbing alcohol 4x daily. He assurd me that its still healing. i also still have stitches in as well. Just looking for a second opinion. I really need reassurance

Doctor Answers 6

Belly Button after Tummy Tuck

At just three weeks after your surgery it is too early to start getting worried.  Belly buttons generally heal very nicely, but it just may take extra time in your case.  I am wondering why you still have the sutures in place.  Those are usually removed after one week.  In most cases, I use dissolvable sutures, so there is no need to take them out, but you look to have permanent sutures while need to be removed.  I would check with your surgeon about the hibiclens and rubbing alcohol recommendations, as these may fight infection, but they will also irritate healing skin.  



Good Luck.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Crusting of belly button 3 weeks after tummy tuck

Occasionally after a tummy tuck, the belly button can have some areas that are slow to heal.  This can cause the discomfort and crusting that you are seeing.  I think your doctor is on the right track with their wound care recommendations.  All should heal fine.

Sacha Obaid, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 137 reviews

Questions about healing of the umbilicus following an abdominoplasty

Every thing that you describe would seem to be normal at 3 weeks.  In order to avoid excessive scarring I usually remove any external sutures fairly early.  Also it is best to wash with a non detergent based soap and avoid harsh detergent based agents such as hibiclens or irritants such as alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. Just keep the area clean and dry and it will most likely do fine.  

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

Belly button healing after tummy tuck

The good thing to know is that belly buttons, even when they don't heal quite right, typically end up looking fine in the end. (But not always). With that said, I don't think that I would personally recommend the wound treatment that you have been suggested. Both hibiclens and rubbing alcohol are relatively harsh agents to the skin. They are good for killing bacteria and prepping skin for surgery, but I have never heard of them being used for long periods of time for wound care. I think that either doing nothing,gentle saline moistened gauze dressings, or neosporin ointment would be more appropriate and traditional approaches. If the problem is just the skin healing, one of these options will fix it. If there is an exposed suture causing the problem, you might need to have it removed. 

Wm. Todd Stoeckel, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Yellow and Crusting Belly Button After Tummy Tuck?

I am not at all sure why you still have external sutures. Typically they have done their work by a week and can be removed. Inflammation from the sutures is a likely cause of persistent drainage, and having them removed would likely resolve this problem. In the meantime, continue as you are with cleansing.

Thanks, best wishes.

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

Yellow and Crusting Belly Button After Tummy Tuck?

Thanks for the question and good photos. It seems that there is a minimal amount of wound opening at one place what is leaking melted fat from underneath and such tinny wounds contract and heal in 3 to 4 weeks time. I will also suggest using Betadine 5% solution application over this area and leaving it exposed for 30 minutes to dry and then wash it off since its deep brown in color and stain the clothes. Its most effective antiseptic agent used often in surgery and for wound healing. Wishing you good luck.

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.