American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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bellyup
2 years ago
Answered

Fluid draining from belly button for a decade after Tummy Tuck

I had a tummy tuck 10 years ago. Ever since the procedure I've had fluid draining out of my belly button. At first it was a brownish color, now it's a clearer fluid. Seems to happen most times when I eat a lot and my stomach expands. Some mornings I wake up and my belly button is all crusty from all the dried fluid. No one seems know what's causing it. Any help please?

Procedure: Tummy Tuck
Location: raleigh, NC

Replies 5

Gary Culbertson
ASPS Surgeon
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10 years ago your surgeon may have used non dissolvable sutures to tighten your stomach muscles. This could be a the source of your issue. Your operative report would be of great assistance. Consider an ASPS member in your area for a possible exposed suture/ sinus following your TT. Best,

Gary R Culbertson, MD, FACS

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Lawrence Glassman
ASPS Surgeon
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The most like causing for persistent drainage around the belly button is a chronically infected stitch. It you had a hernia repair and mesh at the same time, the mesh can also be infected. If you have had previous multiple abdominal surgeries or underlying medical problems, further evaluation may be needed. The bottom line: This problem is treatable and a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon knowledgeable in tummy tuck surgery and its possible complications should be consulted. I hope you find this information helpful.

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Dennis Hurwitz
ASPS Surgeon
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You probably have a small pocket of body fluid, which is called a seroma that depending on your abdominal wall pressure will empty through a sinus tract inside your umbilicus. A retained permanent suture is probably keeping the tract open. A CT scan may help make the diagnosis and guide the approach to correction. Secondary infection is a concern, which aside for the annoyance prompts surgical correction, best done by a board certified plastic surgeon.

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Nelson Castillo

Thank you for sharing your question. I would revisit your surgeon for a discussion and in-person examination, or seek out a second opinion from an ASPS surgeon near you. Most likely this is due to a stitch that has not dissolved or is contaminated enough that an indolent infection has taken place. This often can be remedied in the office.

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Norman Bakshandeh
ASPS Surgeon

I would start with a radiology study to see if there is any communication here with the abdominal cavity. That is pretty unlikely. There is probably a retained foreign body such as a non absorbable stitch that needs to be removed

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