Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Pain Above Belly Button After Tummy Tuck

Are you experiencing pain after your tummy tuck?

If so, you’re not alone. Many patients experience some pain after a tummy tuck procedure, and the intensity of that pain can vary from person to person. Some patients experience mild discomfort while others have severe pain that keeps them up at night or prevents them from engaging in daily activities like work and exercise. In this guide, we review the aspects of Pain Above Belly Button After Tummy Tuck, abdominal pain 2 years after tummy tuck, hardness around belly button after tummy tuck, and Is it normal for your bellybutton to hurt after a tummy tuck.

In some cases, this pain may be due to an infection around the incision site called “wound breakdown.” This condition typically occurs when the patient does not follow their doctor’s instructions for post-operative care. For example, patients should drink plenty of fluids and avoid strenuous activity for at least six weeks following surgery—but many people do not follow these instructions and end up with wound breakdowns that require surgery or other treatments to heal properly again.

If you have been experiencing significant pain after your tummy tuck procedure—and especially if it hasn’t improved within two months—you should talk with your doctor immediately about what might be causing it so they can recommend appropriate treatment options such as antibiotics or surgery if necessary (such as removing dead tissue).

Pain Above Belly Button After Tummy Tuck

Typically, there is a certain degree of pain or discomfort you can expect following surgery. Surgical procedures are traumatic for the human body, and pain may be attributed to your body trying to heal injured tissues. In some instances, however, nerve pain develops afterward and this isn’t the same kind of pain you should probably expect.

Woman getting prepped for a tummy tuck

As we’ve noted throughout our website, nerve pain is often marked by symptoms like burning, shooting, stabbing, and searing pain. For some patients, external stimulation—even at low levels (like wind blowing over skin or water coming down from a showerhead)—causes intense physical sensations. Others experience “pins and needles” or feel as though a specific body part or region has been plugged into an electrical outlet.

If you have those kinds of symptoms, the pain is likely caused by a nerve issue of some kind.

In some cases, these symptoms begin after procedures like C-sections (cesarean section deliveries) and tummy tucks. When they do, it’s understandable for patients to wonder why this is happening to them. So, let’s look today at why you are having nerve pain after those kinds of procedures.

To start, it is worth noting that nerve pain does not imply that anything was done incorrectly during the surgery. Surgeons, by very definition of their job, have to cut tissues to repair medical problems. Your body has an entire network of nerves running throughout, so this means there are times when nerves will also be cut during surgery. It’s just a fact.

Nerve Pain after C-section

As with other surgical procedures, it is virtually impossible to perform a C-section without cutting into some nerves. That said, long-term nerve injury after a C-section tends to be somewhat rare.

Often, nerves will heal without causing any lasting issues. When injured nerves do not heal correctly, it is considered to be nerve damage. Depending on which nerves are damaged—and their respective functions—there are various short-term and long-term symptoms that can develop. These symptoms can include impaired motor function and nerve pain.

If you have had a C-section and are experiencing a superficial pain around the edges of the scar, it is likely the ilioinguinal, iliohypogastric, and/or genitofemoral nerves have been affected. Usually, the pain presents as a burning pain and hypersensitivity – which means even light touch hurts (like in the earlier examples of wind and water). There may also be “electric shock” sensations.

If pushing on the affected area does not reproduce the pain, those specific nerves are less likely to be responsible.

The reason for noting the ilioinguinal, iliohypogastric, and genitofemoral nerves comes down to their locations. Surgeons do attempt to avoid important nerves as much as possible, but these ones run close to the edge of a C-section incision. This makes it easy for them to be injured during the procedure (bruised, crushed, etc.) or trapped in scar tissue afterward.

If you are having painful sensations, it is more likely the nerves were injured, instead of being cut. We can say this because cut nerves tend to produce numbness instead of pain. Although, there are times when both numbness and pain result from cut nerves (which is a condition called anesthesia dolorosa).

When diagnosing your nerve pain after a C-section, we use a nerve block. This is a matter of using anesthetic to cause temporary numbness for the affected nerve. When there is both numbness and pain relief, it indicates a peripheral nerve injury. If there is numbness without pain relief, something else is likely at play.

Nerve Pain after Tummy Tuck

Tummy tucks—abdominoplasties—are some of the most common cosmetic procedures performed in the United States, with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reporting 127,633 in 2016. This is a 104% increase from the 62,713 performed in 2000.

Experts believe the number of abdominoplasties will only increase due to both the number of esthetic surgical procedures and increase in how many obese patients achieve massive weight loss following bariatric surgery.

As with other surgeries, nerves to the affected area are traumatized from a tummy tuck. This can cause numbness for several weeks to months before the nerves overcome temporary neuropraxia (loss of nerve conduction). Usually, it only takes around 6-12 weeks for the situation to resolve, but there are cases wherein this may take longer.

Whereas this numbness and a certain degree of discomfort can be expected, it can be a problem when nerve pain has developed and is not going away after a reasonable amount of time.

In the case of nerve pain following a tummy tuck, it is probably a small nerve called the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve that is affected. This particular nerve travels directly through the areas manipulated during a tummy tuck and could easily be injured directly by a suture or scalpel, or indirectly when the nerve becomes entrapped in scar tissue.

That said, it is important to note that factors other than nerve damage could be responsible for pain and sensory abnormalities. For example, massive weight loss can cause extreme skin expansion and a patient who had undergone bariatric surgery may also have had other issues (secondary fibrosis, hernia) corrected during the tummy tuck.

Diagnosis and Treatment

When you have nerve pain following surgery—particularly if the pain has been present for an extended period—you deserve to find out what is responsible. In the case of C-sections and tummy tucks, it could be inadvertent nerve damage. If so, we may be able to provide the care you need.

Managing Pain After a Tummy Tuck Surgery

Abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, is a cosmetic surgical procedure that flattens the abdomen by removing excess fat and skin and tightening the underlying muscle. Most people recover within several weeks. You may experience swelling and moderate pain during your post-operative recovery, both due to the procedure itself and because of movements you make while your incision is healing. You can get through this period more comfortably by trying several strategies for managing the pain after a tummy tuck.

A woman laying in a hospital bed

Lifestyle Management

As you are recovering from your surgery, there are practical things that you can do during the first few months to prevent pain from starting and to reduce your pain if you have any.

  • Maintain physical activity: As you recover, you should continue to carry out simple day-to-day tasks and regularly get up and walk around your home. This is recommended to reduce your risk of developing harmful blood clots, and it also prevents you from remaining in one position for too long, which can make it painful when you finally get up and move.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise: As you are recovering and your wounds are healing, you should not put a strain on your incisions by engaging in strenuous activity or lifting heavy objects for at least six weeks or until you get the green light from your healthcare provider. If you would like to begin or get back to challenging exercises once you are fully recovered, it is a good idea to maintain some level of fitness by walking for exercise throughout your recovery period.
  • Don’t smoke: To enhance the healing process, you should avoid the use of tobacco. Nicotine severely compromises the body’s ability to heal. It causes blood vessels to narrow, making the delivery of oxygen to the skin cells at the incision site more difficult, ultimately delaying the healing process.
  • Avoid constipation: You may be constipated if you are not eating due to nausea or fatigue. Narcotic pain medications also cause constipation, which eventually leads to abdominal pain. Try to eat food that is high in fiber and drink ample amounts of fluid to avoid constipation. If nausea or constipation are persistent, you may need to take over-the-counter or prescription medication.

Pain Management

Often, tummy tuck procedures include injection of pain medications into the area around the sensory nerves, resulting in a nerve block. This pre-emptive measure has been shown to reduce postoperative pain. However, if you experience postoperative pain, you may need treatment as you recover from your tummy tuck surgery. Options include:

  1. Over-the-counter medication: Many surgeons recommend taking ibuprofen or naproxen 24 to 48 hours after the procedure if there is no evidence of bleeding. NSAIDS can decrease the swelling and offer pain relief which can allow patients to stop narcotics earlier resulting in fewer side effects from those drugs.
  • Prescription medications: Long-acting narcotic pain medications are often prescribed because they do not cause bleeding. However, at low doses, narcotics can cause constipation; at high doses, they can cause breathing and heart problems, as well as addiction risk.
  • Pain pump: If you have severe nausea and cannot take medication by mouth, a pain pump—a device that delivers medication directly into the body via an inserted tube—can be another alternative. If your pain is severe, a pain pump can reduce your need for high doses of prescription narcotic pain medication.

Post-Operative Care

There are some routine things you need to take care of as you heal after your surgery, including wearing a compression garment, wound care, and drain care. Paying careful attention to these tasks can help reduce or prevent pain.

  • Compression garment: After surgery, you will be wrapped in or given a compression garment to wear. The compression garment will reduce swelling and support the abdomen, promoting proper healing. You should expect to wear this for two weeks to two months, depending on how quickly you are healing. Be sure to tell your medical team if the compression garment is causing any pain, as adjustments may be needed.
  • Incision care: Surgical dressings or bandages will be applied to your incision area. You will be given instructions about whether you should change these bandages and, if so, how often and how to do it. The most important aspect of your at-home wound care is that you keep your wound clean and remain gentle with it to avoid injury or bleeding. You will also be given instructions to be on the lookout for problems, such as pain from the incision site, swelling, redness, pus, warmth, or bleeding.
  • Drain care: After an abdominoplasty, temporary tubes to drain excess fluid from the surgical site will be inserted under your skin. They will be removed during the first week of recovery or when your healthcare provider is assured that the fluid no longer needs to be drained. If you experience pain at the drain site, or if you notice redness, swelling, or oozing of pus or blood, tell your healthcare provider’s office.
  • Antibiotics: You may be given a prescription for medication to apply to your surgical site and/or to take orally to reduce your risk of developing a postoperative infection. An infection can cause pain, but more common symptoms of infection include fever, swelling, warmth, or pus.

A tummy tuck is generally well tolerated. However, it is a surgical procedure, and there are some risks and side effects—including pain. If you are planning to have a tummy tuck, you should be prepared for one to two months of recovery, and you may experience pain throughout this time. In general, pain is mild to moderate after a tummy tuck. Rarely, pain or sensory abnormalities can persist for months or even years after the procedure. If your pain is severe or persistent, you should tell your healthcare provider.

abdominal pain 2 years after tummy tuck

I am two years post complete tummy tuck surgery. My question is that my upper abdomen is still sore and bulges out over the lower. Should I be concerned? My surgeon has liposuctioned that spot after a year but I am still bulging out. I’m wondering if there is another problem that I should be concerned about. Not only am I sensitive in this part, I am also very asymmetric. Which was so called “fixed” a year ago. I am ready to seek advice from another surgeon. Please help?

Upper abdomen bulge after tummy tuck

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hardness around belly button after tummy tuck

Tummy tuck surgery – or abdominoplasty – is a popular and highly effective way to reshape the abdominal area. A healthy diet and regular physical exercise might not be enough to repair the changes in your tummy’s appearance caused by pregnancy or massive weight loss. Pregnancy also leaves stretch marks and skin creases, resulting in skin elasticity loss, known as elastosis.

It’s important to keep in mind that tummy tuck surgery is NOT a weight loss surgery. It is a body contouring procedure that aims to resurface the abdomen and reverse the signs of aging. When performing a tummy tuck, your plastic surgeon will remove the excess skin and fat, and tighten your stomach muscles.

A normal side effect after tummy tuck is swelling, which is temporary and usually disappears within the first few weeks. However, potential infections or failure to follow the plastic surgeon’s post-operative instructions may cause swelling to persist for longer than expected.

Understanding why and how tummy tuck swelling occurs can reduce patients’ concerns and help them have realistic expectations about their tummy tuck recovery.

Tummy Tuck Recovery

Before examining the side effect of swollen abdomen, let’s see how a patient can heal better and faster after a tummy tuck or a mini tummy tuck.

As with any other type of plastic surgery, recovery after a tummy tuck takes time. Your plastic surgeon will explain exactly what to expect after the procedure. For example, it is normal to have a bulge in the lower abdomen during the first days after the operation.

The doctor will probably recommend using a light compression belt to help reduce swelling and other possible complications. The post-surgical garment should be worn day and night for up to six weeks.

Typically, the recovery period lasts for at least two weeks, but you should wait another four weeks before starting to work out again. Without your plastic surgeon’s approval, you should not engage in any physical activity – particularly abdominal exercises.

What Causes Tummy Tuck Swelling? Is It Normal?

Swelling in the lower abdominal area after tummy tuck surgery is an absolutely normal and expected part of the healing process.

Tummy tuck surgery causes changes to the patient’s lymphatic drainage system. In particular, the plastic surgeon pulls tight the abdominal skin and relocates it in a new position, similar to a facelift. As a result, the blood vessels and lymphatic vessels in the area that used to drain fluid upwards are now divided.

New lymphatic connections will form with time, but fluid cannot be drained through the lymphatic drainage vessels until then. Instead, it flows down with gravity. In addition, scar tissue stops the fluid from migrating. This fluid buildup that makes the tummy area grow larger is known as swelling or edema.

The extent of swelling may also depend on the type of tummy tuck surgery. A mini tummy tuck usually results in less swelling and recovery time than a traditional tummy tuck. Moreover, combining a tummy tuck surgery with liposuction in the abdomen or other parts of the body often produces more swelling in the affected areas.

Another thing to keep in mind is that pain medications also play a part in producing swelling in the abdomen. Pain medications may slow down the gastrointestinal tract and cause constipation and bloating. This is only temporary, though, and resolves when the patient no longer needs the medication.

How Long Do You Stay Swollen After A Tummy Tuck?

The patient’s abdominal area is visibly swollen over the first few days after tummy tuck surgery. The area around the scars is usually where swelling persists for longer.Minor swelling continues to exist in the area for around two months, but its extent depends on the patient’s aftercare routine and daily activities. For example, standing up for long hours will probably cause the abdominal muscles to grow large again. However, a good night’s sleep will help reduce swelling and speed up recovery.In some cases, minor swelling can persist up to one year after surgery, but most patients have gotten rid of the “bloating” feelings and appearance after 18 months.

Stages of Swelling after Tummy Tuck

Many patients are worried about lower belly swelling after a tummy tuck. Hence, we created the below list to shed light on this common concern of tummy tuck candidates and patients.

Swelling 3 Weeks after Tummy Tuck

As with any other surgical procedure, swelling after tummy tuck is typical to occur in the lower abdominal area. Three weeks after surgery, most patients feel very swollen and even experience hardness around the belly button.

Swelling 3 Months after Tummy Tuck

Noticeable swelling in the lower belly area should start subsiding three months after tummy tuck surgery. Yet, mild swelling and puffiness are normal to still be present in the area.

Swelling 6 Months after Tummy Tuck

Many patients experience persistent minor bloating even 6 months after tummy tuck surgery. A reason for this might be that patients spend long hours standing. However, a “good night’s sleep” will help improve the abdomen’s swollen appearance.

Swelling 8, 9 or 10 Months after Tummy Tuck

Most swelling should have been resolved between 8 and 10 months after the tummy tuck. Yet, fluid retention due to diet and salt intake might be the reason behind a still swollen belly. Patients who experience a bloated upper or lower abdomen 10 months after tummy tuck surgery should contact their doctor and have him/her re-examine them.

Swelling 1 Year after Tummy Tuck

Post-surgical swelling diminishes gradually over a year to a year and a half after a tummy tuck. However, there is no specific time schedule for each individual’s recovery. If swelling seems unusual to the patient, then it is time to consult with their plastic surgeon.

Swelling 2 Years after Tummy Tuck

A protruding stomach appearance 2 years after a tummy tuck might be down to visceral fat and loose muscle. In such cases, patients need to lose weight to reduce the bloating that is still present. A visit to the plastic surgeon for further assessment or a second opinion might help.

Being patient and following your plastic surgeon’s aftercare instructions is the key to effectively resolve swelling and puffiness after a traditional tummy tuck or a mini tummy tuck. Patients with a strong immune system, who stick to their doctor’s post-operative care instructions, heal faster and better.

If you had your tummy tuck surgery at the European Institute of Plastic Surgery (EIPS), Dr. Stavrou would always be eager to answer all your questions during and in between your follow-up visits.

How To Reduce Swelling After A Tummy Tuck

Wearing a compression garment as directed by the plastic surgeon is one of the most crucial steps of post-operative care that speeds up the recovery process and helps relieve feelings of discomfort.

The patient should avoid any strenuous exercise and excessive movement after surgery. A good idea would be to go shopping before the surgery to ensure there is plenty of food, water and anything else they might need at home during the first days of healing.

Even though swelling is a natural part of the recovery process, here are 10 doctor-approved tips that can help reduce the severity of swelling after a tummy tuck.

Tummy Tuck Combined with Liposuction or A Mommy Makeover

Patients who choose to combine a tummy tuck with liposuction or a Mommy Makeover should expect more persistent swelling in the affected areas. Again, it is normal for the healing process to last longer for patients who underwent a combination of plastic surgeries.

However, most women find it worth the swelling, as this combination of procedures resculpts the body beautifully, leaving a firmer, more pleasing silhouette. Apart from a tummy tuck, Mommy Makeover may also include an arm lift, breast lift, and liposuction of the abdomen and thighs.

Is it normal for your bellybutton to hurt after a tummy tuck.

Cosmetic surgery procedures are an excellent way to achieve your aesthetic goals. Tummy Tuck in Miami, also known as Abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure performed by a qualified plastic surgeon to tighten loose muscles, remove access fat from the abdomen, and ensure an aesthetically pleasing and contoured body.

A growing body of research evidence has highlighted the benefits of tummy tuck for women who want to lose fat in the abdominal region. It is an essential procedure for people who don’t have enough time for exercising and dieting. Bear in mind that undergoing tummy tuck won’t stop you from gaining weight. 

Therefore, it is crucial to understand the advantages/disadvantages and risks associated with a tummy tuck. The purpose is to know the results you can expect and understand different post-operative caring techniques to prevent gaining weight in the future. 

A belly button is an important part of your tummy and a symbol of feminine beauty. However, women who undergo tummy tuck may have a poorly shaped belly button. Some women also have an infected belly button after the procedure. Today’s article will discuss what happens to the belly button after the surgery and how you can prevent complications. Read on! 

Infected Belly Button After Tummy Tuck

Research shows that operative site infections and seromas are common complications following tummy tuck surgery. Most studies show that post-surgery infections are prevalent in 1% to 3% of patients. 

Inflammation is the belly button, and surrounding areas are usually characterized by tenderness, edema, erythema, and fever. Patients with diabetes, malnutrition and immunosuppressed states are at higher risk of belly button infections. 

No Belly Button After Tummy Tuck

Tummy Tuck is an excellent procedure to remove excess fat from your belly or abdomen. The primary objective of this surgery is to tighten the muscles in the stomach area and smoothen the overall abdominal appearance. 

However, the procedure can change your belly button’s appearance. After the surgery, a patient’s belly button can appear more horizontal and vertical. Although this problem resolves over time, sometimes, there is no belly button. 

Remember, not having a belly button after tummy tuck is not a severe complication. The good news is that you can discuss it with your health provider and plan to create a belly button via a cosmetic procedure. 

These can change the appearance of your belly button, making it appear more horizontal than vertical. If you’ve had surgery later in life and don’t have a belly 

Belly Button Issues After Tummy Tuck

During the tummy tuck, the surgeon makes an incision in the low abdomen to remove the stretched skin and fat deposits. The surgeon sews the loose muscles and makes another incision around the belly button. Not taking care of the incision sites during the rehabilitation can lead to belly button issues. 

The recovery timeline after the procedure varies depending on different factors, such as your age, health status, weight, and immune system. Because the drainage tubes that pull the fluid away from your abdominal region will remain in the area for a few days. 

It is crucial to wear an abdominal binder for about 1.5 months. The binder is a tight band around your belly, supporting your muscles and preventing the accumulation of fluids. 

That’s why we recommend wearing the binder and avoiding strenuous activity for proper healing of your belly button. Otherwise, you will experience belly button complications after the procedure. Always follow your health provider’s instructions to achieve your goals. 

Yellow Discharge from Belly Button After Tummy Tuck

Most women experience a yellow discharge from their belly button after the procedure, causing a lot of frustration and panic. However, you must not worry because the thick release from the incision site or belly button is normal for 10-20 days. After all, this is liquified fat. 

You can stop the drainage by covering your belly button with dry gauze. If the discharge continues after 20-25 days, make sure you contact your health provider. Your surgeon will give you instructions on how to deal with the problem. 

Belly Button Leaking Fluid After Tummy Tuck

Some patients experience leaking fluid from their belly button after a tummy tuck. The primary cause of this problem is not maintaining proper hygiene during the recovery period. Germs, fungus, bacteria, dirt, and other environmental pollutants accumulating on the incision site trigger the leaking fluid mechanisms. 

So, if you notice any signs of leaking fluid or infection in the belly button during the recovery period, call your health provider immediately. Sometimes, too much constriction or opening can lead to discharge or pus drainage from your belly button, seeping a yellow or white discharge. 

White Inside Belly Button After Tummy Tuck

After the tummy tuck procedure, the primary cause of white inside the belly button is skin necrosis. It is crucial to prevent skin necrosis by applying ointments prescribed by your health provider. 

At the same time, don’t stress because this takes a few weeks to heal. The whitish material appearing on your belly button is also due to removing dead skin cells by your body’s natural mechanisms. 

Hard Lump Above Belly Button After Tummy Tuck

Although a tummy tuck is a safe procedure, some patients show concern about a bulging belly button or a hard lump above it. Inflammation and swelling in the surgical site are the primary reason behind the hard lump above the belly button. 

Research shows that blood and lymphatic vessels perform the function of drainage for fluids. However, during the procedure, the surgeon cuts these vessels. As a result, the fluid accumulated causes a hard or tender lump. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Call your doctor if the pain is unbearable. 

Belly Button Stitches After Tummy Tuck

Taking care of the incision site or stitches during the recovery period is crucial to avoid infections and other complications. Most surgeons recommend leaving sutures for 14 to 21 days to prevent incisions or stitches from opening. 

Remember, tension and stress placed on stitches after the tummy tuck procedure is considerable, but make sure you follow your health provider’s instructions and give your body additional time to secure the wound. 

Dark Belly Button After Tummy Tuck

The dark belly button after the procedure is due to the accumulation of dead skin cells and sebum oil secreted by the skin. If you fail to follow your surgeon’s guidelines, the deposits of dead skin cells and fluids may form an omphalolith. 

Keloid Belly Button After Tummy Tuck

Keloid scars after the tummy tuck in the belly button area are not common. Therefore, it is wise to call your doctor immediately and seek appropriate treatment. There are numerous methods to prevent or treat keloid scars during rehabilitation. 

For example, cortisone injections into the keloid belly button every 4-6 weeks will flatten the scars and fade their appearance. You can also use silicone sheeting to reduce the visibility of your keloid belly button scar. 

Belly Button Closing After Tummy Tuck

The surgeon makes an incision in the low abdomen during the tummy tuck. The purpose is to lift the abdominal skin. The surgeon makes an additional incision around the belly button to release the fat cells or skin from the surrounding area. However, your belly button remains attached to the stalk. 

In addition, it is normal to experience swelling around your belly button for a few days or weeks. Your belly button may also appear slightly crusty during the recovery period. It takes six months for the belly button to heal. Once your body has healed the wound, you will undergo another procedure under local anesthesia to improve your belly button’s shape. 

How To Clean Belly Button After Tummy Tuck?

Each patient is unique, meaning the recovery process varies from person to person. Depending on your overall health status, you may not go to the office or work for one to two weeks. Ensure you follow your health provider’s aftercare instructions, clean the incision site, and wear compression garments for an efficient and quick recovery. 

In addition, you must avoid strenuous physical activities, such as intense workouts and weightlifting for a specified period. The question is: how to clean your belly button after the procedure. Well, it is an easy task, requiring you to soak a cotton swap in hydrogen peroxide and clean your belly button. Most surgeons recommend cleaning the belly button at least once or twice a day. 

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