Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Belly button bleeding after tummy tuck

I’m a mother of two beautiful and healthy children. They are my world, but in the past few years, I’ve struggled with my body image.

I had always had a belly button that looked like an innie—that is until I had my kids. After each pregnancy, my belly button went from an innie to a small outie, which made me very self-conscious. I started to avoid wearing certain clothing items because they would show my belly button, and even though I knew it was silly, I hated it! In this guide, we review the aspects of Belly button bleeding after tummy tuck, how long does it take for belly button to heal after tummy tuck, What does it mean when your belly button bleeds, and belly button revision after tummy tuck.

Belly button bleeding after tummy tuck

Unfavorable Scarring: If the sutured area doesn’t heal properly or takes too long to heal, the scars that are a result of the abdominoplasty may be thicker than normal. If the patient heals relatively quickly, minimal scarring will result. Scars will take years to fade, but they are long-lasting. Despite Dr.Agha’s best efforts, scar appearance and healing are not fully predictable. The scars may be uneven, excessively wide, and/or asymmetrical. Scars may be unattractive and of a different color than the surrounding skin. Excessive, hypertrophic, and keloid scarring are uncommon. Additional treatments, including surgery, may be necessary to treat abnormal scarring.

Bleeding/Hematoma: Bleeding may result if the sutured areas do not heal correctly or if there is improper coagulation after the tummy tuck procedure. A hematoma is a blood collection that can form under the skin and enlarges as a tender bulge. If a patient notices any unusual bleeding after an abdominoplasty, contact Orange County plastic surgeon Dr. Agha immediately. Do not take any aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications for ten days before surgery as this will increase the risk of bleeding. Non-prescription “herbs” and dietary supplements can also increase the risk of surgical bleeding.

Infection: Major infection with fever and large areas of red skin (cellulitis) is unusual after this type of surgery. Should a serious infection occur, treatment, including intravenous antibiotics or additional surgery to remove dead tissue and drain abscesses, may be necessary. Minor wound infections, accompanied by exposed and “spitting” sutures can occur and are usually easily dealt with by limited debridement, antibiotics, and dressing care. There is a greater risk of infection in smokers, those with diabetes, and with multiple procedures.

Fluid Accumulation (Seroma): Drains are often placed at the surgical site at the end of the operation to collect seepage of fluid. After their removal in about five to seven days, body fluids (serum) occasionally accumulate underneath the skin. Should this occur, it may require aspirations. If that fails to cure the seroma then the patient will need to be seen either in the office or the operating room for insertion of new drainage tubes and the removal of seroma cavities. This is very rarely necessarily.

Poor Wound Healing: Individuals that have a slower than average healing rate or smokers may find that they do not heal properly, that the sutured areas reopen easily, or that they are more prone to infection. Patients should avoid smoking three weeks prior to and after the procedure so that their body’s natural healing process is not hindered.

Wound Dehiscence: In general, your skin closure is in multiple layers. Separation of the superficial, deep and/or both layers may occur any time during your first post-operative month. Suture breakage, knots untying, sutures tearing through an excessively tight closure, too much movement or bending, and skin necrosis (death) are some of the recognized causes of dehiscence. Breakage of sutures in the superficial layer of skin may be sutured closed or allowed to heal secondarily at the judgment of Orange County plastic surgeon Dr. Agha.

Deep dehiscence may require a return trip to the operating room for closure under anesthesia. These healing problems may require frequent dressing changes, extra office visits and further surgery to remove the non-healed tissue. Open wounds may take weeks to heal or a secondary closure may be appropriate. Wounds allowed to heal on their own usually benefit from secondary scar revision. Smokers have a high risk of skin loss and wound healing complications. Do not smoke for three weeks before and after your surgery.

Suture Granuloma: Some surgical techniques use deep sutures. These items may be noticed by the patient following surgery. Sutures may spontaneously poke through the skin, be visible, or produce irritation that requires removal.

Numbness in Skin Sensation: Post-operative diminished (or loss of) skin sensation (numbness, pins and needles sensation, burning or itching), and/or pain in the lower torso may be temporary or very rarely long-lasting.

Contour Irregularities: Contour irregularities and depressions may occur after these procedures. Visible and palpable looseness and wrinkling of skin can also occur. On occasion, asymmetrical fullness, bulges, and depressions may be present.

Asymmetry in Scar Placement or Contour: On occasion, asymmetry may occur after a tummy tuck. Although this is not typical, it is a risk associated with the abdominoplasty procedure. Every body and every patient is different.

Pain that Persists: Chronic pain may occur very infrequently from nerves becoming trapped in scar tissue after surgery.

Nerve Damage: If improper healing occurs, the patient may have some nerve damage. The possibility of nerve damage should be discussed with the physician before the procedure. Nerve damage can result in over-sensitivity or it can result in a lack of sensitivity in certain areas where the abdominoplasty was performed.

Allergic Reactions: In rare cases, local allergies to tape, suture material, or topical preparations have been reported. More serious systemic reactions may occur in response to drugs used during surgery and prescription medicines. Allergic reactions may require additional treatment.

Loss of Umbilicus: Malposition, scarring, unacceptable appearance, or loss of the umbilicus (navel) may occur.

Residual Deformity- Despite the best efforts to obtain a tight abdominal contour, a small degree of residual deformity may persist or develop months after the surgery.

Need for Revisional Surgery: The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Should complications occur or some aesthetic expectations remain unmet, additional procedures or other treatments may be necessary. Other complications and risks can occur but are even more uncommon.

Suboptimal Aesthetic Result: You may be disappointed with the results of surgery. Under-treatment with residual laxity and looseness or over-treatment with excessive tightness of the skin can occur with the flattening of regional contours and the widening or thickening of scars. Considerable care is used to achieve the optimum shape, but for a variety of reasons, the ultimate results may be suboptimal. At times, it is desirable to perform additional procedures to improve your results.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Complications: Deep vein thrombosis is rare but worrisome complication of plastic surgery. It represents formation of blood clots in the deep veins of the legs during anesthesia and surgery. Although a sequential compression device will be used to reduce the risks, a few patients may still develop DVTs. Pulmonary complications may occur secondarily to the migration of the vein blood clots into the lungs (pulmonary emboli) or partial collapse of the lungs after general anesthesia. Should either of these complications occur, you may require hospitalization and additional treatment. Pulmonary emboli can be life-threatening or fatal in some circumstances. Dr Agha is a board-certified surgeon. Click Here for more General information on the Tummy Tuck Surgery Procedure.

how long does it take for belly button to heal after tummy tuck

How Your Belly Button Changes After a Tummy Tuck

In a traditional abdominoplasty, your belly button is surgically “removed” from your body. What that really means is that your belly button essentially disappears, as it loses its shape once excess skin is released and removed from the abdomen. Once the skin has been treated, the remaining skin is repositioned over the abdomen. At this point, your plastic surgeon will recreate the belly button and stitch it into place. The overall effect can help enhance the stomach’s appearance, especially in patients who have felt self-conscious about an overly large or stretched-out belly button.

Your Belly Button + a Mini Tummy Tuck

If you opt to have a mini tummy tuck procedure, your belly button will probably be left alone. This is because the mini tummy tuck only targets sagging that’s located underneath the belly button.

How Your Belly Button Will Look After a Tummy Tuck

Your belly button will look completely natural by the time you’ve healed from your abdominoplasty (usually within three to four months). You may notice your belly button growing smaller over the course of several weeks, which is a sign that you’re properly healing. If you’re concerned with how your belly button might look after a tummy tuck, be sure to share your thoughts with board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. John Bull. He can work with you to ensure that your results are completely natural-looking and youthful – even your belly button!

I had a tummy tuck with liposuction done by Dr Bull. I am totally happy with my results. I am only 6 weeks post op and I have already dropped 2 sizes in my jeans. After loosing 57 lbs. I was having a hard time buying pants because of my waistline. If the waist fit, the legs were baggy and made me look heavy. My pouchy belly was just awful. So glad to see it gone forever! I feel 20 yrs younger. Dr Bull and his staff are excellant

Take the Next Step – Request a Consultation

Ready to experience the stomach-flattening powers of a tummy tuck for yourself? To schedule your consultation with Dr. John Bull, please fill out the form on this page or call The John Bull Center for Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Medispa in Naperville, IL, at 630-405-5342.

What does it mean when your belly button bleeds

Your belly button, or navel, is a remnant of your umbilical cord and usually contains a buildup of dead skin cells, microorganisms, dirt, and lint. Infections, abdominal surgery, and various cysts may cause a navel discharge.  This article will discuss the various causes of belly button discharge, treatment, and prevention. 

What causes belly button discharge? 

Discharge is due to several causes. The most common cause is infection from bacteria or fungus. You may be more likely to experience infection if you recently had abdominal surgery. Certain cysts may also cause belly button discharge. 

Bacterial infection

Your belly button is a perfect location for bacteria to grow and potentially spread. In fact, a study from 2012 discovered an average of 67 different types of belly button bacteria.

Most of these bacteria work to keep our skin healthy. But if there’s an overgrowth of bacteria that cause an infection, such as Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus A, you may notice:

If the infection spreads deeper in your skin, it may develop into cellulitis. If you notice any of the following, contact a doctor or seek medical care right away:

Left untreated, cellulitis can lead to a blood infection called bacteremia, which can further develop into sepsis. Without prompt treatment, sepsis can cause your organs to shut down, becoming a life threatening medical emergency. 

A belly button piercing may make you more at risk for bacterial infection. If you have a belly button piercing, it is important to clean your jewelry and piercing daily. After you wash, make sure to completely dry the area.

If you notice any of the following, you may have an infection and may want to visit your doctor for treatment: 

Yeast infection

Sometimes yeast, known as Candida, can also overgrow in your belly button. This causes a yeast infection called candidiasis. Yeast thrives in moist, warm skin crevices, so the belly button is a potential host.

Most of the time, yeast lives on your skin with no side effects. Under certain circumstances, it can quickly overgrow. Some conditions that may lead to a yeast infection include:

If you are taking antibiotics, they might destroy the good bacteria on your skin, allowing yeast to grow quickly. 

Symptoms of a fungal infection may include:

You may also have small pustules at the edges of the rash. Sometimes Candida can invade deeper tissues. This may cause systemic candidiasis, a life threatening infection. Yet this usually occurs only in those with a weakened immune system. 


Abdominal surgeries may pose a risk for potential infection near or in the belly button. These surgeries include umbilical hernia repair or laparoscopic surgery that involves incisions near the belly button.

If you had recent abdominal surgery and notice liquid or pus draining from your belly button, it may be a sign of an internal infection. Contact your doctor right away to receive prompt treatment.

Urachal cyst

These cysts sometimes develop when part of the urachus, or tube that connects the umbilical cord to the bladder in a developing baby, creates a pocket of tissue, according to the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center.

The tube typically disappears before birth, but it may remain in some people. Those most likely to be affected include older children and adults.

If you notice a cloudy or bloody discharge from your belly button along with any of the following, you may have a urachal cyst:

Epidermoid cyst

Epidermoid cysts are nodules that grow under the skin and range in size from 0.5 centimeters (cm) to several cm, according to 2022 research.

These are common They often develop when a blocked hair follicle traps keratin — a protein in your skin, hair, and nails — below the skin.

Epidermoid cysts may occur spontaneously. Recently it has been implied that ultraviolet (UV) light and infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV) may also cause their formation, the same 2022 research notes. 

These cysts are usually benign, or noncancerous. It is rare that they become malignant, or cancerous, according to 2019 research.

Adult males between 30 and 40 years old are most often affected by epidermoid cysts. These cysts usually appear on the face, neck, and trunk of the body. They can also occur in the umbilical area after abdominal surgery, such as umbilical hernia surgery.  

When these cysts rupture, they emit a thick, yellowish, foul-smelling substance and lead to inflammation that may cause an infection. Experts recommend surgery for complete removal of the cyst, but complications may include bleeding, infection, and scarring. 

Umbilical endometriosis

A somewhat rare cause of navel discharge is umbilical endometriosis, according to a small 2020 study. Endometriosis is when your endometrial tissue grows outside your uterus.

Sometimes a nodule is found in the belly button with symptoms of:

These may occur spontaneously or after laparoscopic surgery. Treatment is typically the surgical removal of the nodule. 

belly button revision after tummy tuck

When properly executed, a tummy tuck should also improve the shape and contour of the belly button. If a more natural and attractive look is desired, bellybutton revision after tummy tuck surgery may be an option.

The Belly Button Portion Of The Tummy Tuck Procedure

Ideally, the tummy tuck surgeon begins with a stretched, distorted belly button that is weakened by gravity and surrounding fat and skin thus resembling a “frowny-face,” and creates a smaller, more vertically-oriented belly button that gently contours inward with hidden incisions to enhance the feminine silhouette.

Tummy Tuck Belly Button Scarring & Other Common Complications

If a surgeon is unable to achieve these goals, the belly button may be too large, too circular, too flat and smooth without an inward contour, or the scar may be too large or prominent. Sometimes an umbilical hernia emerges, or recurs. Obese patients may have large, cavernous belly buttons; petite patients may not have enough central umbilical recess, and the scar may be obvious. Less fat may remove the “hood” of skin over the belly button; more fat may make it too prominent.

Belly Button Revision After Tummy Tuck

Some of these deformities are more easily corrected than others, but improvements are usually possible through belly button revision after tummy tuck. Typically, a patient should wait three to six months after tummy tuck before considering revision. Many issues auto-correct during the recovery process, and some surgery can be avoided just by waiting.

If you are interested in umbilicoplasty, we invite you to schedule an appointment with Donaldson Plastic Surgery. We have achieved beautiful results for years, and our work has garnered awards such as America’s Top Plastic Surgeons. You may schedule your personal consultation today to discuss your options with Dr. Donaldson!

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