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Incision Opening After Tummy Tuck? (photo)

I had a tummy tuck 4 weeks ago and every week it has opened and my PS has sutured it back together using local anesthetic. Last week he closed it under general anesthetic and it has opened up again. I am so fed up with this happening. There is no infection and I do not smoke and am a healthy weight and eat well. Please Help.

Doctor Answers 15

Incision Opening After Tummy Tuck?

Must rule out a foreign body reaction from a deep muscle suture. Otherwise try silver nitrate and red light laser therapy. 

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Do Not Close An Open Incision

   The tummy tuck incision should not be closed again and any nonviable tissue should be removed.  The area should be monitored for infection, and local dressing changes should be instituted. 

Incision Opening After Tummy Tuck

Sorry to read about the troubled post op course you are enduring.At this stage the best approach will be to remove all the visible sutures, trim all the non-viable tissue (dead fat) and begin good dressing care--there are many satisfactory regimens--and allow this to heal from the bottom up, and it will. Expect about a month, and then to have a red form scar that will soften and lighten over the course of a year. It may be that once this is healed, if the scar is less than ideal a touch up procedure will be in order.

Thank you for your question and for the photo posted. All the best. 


I would advise you to have some extra patience.I understand this is easy for me to say and much harder for you to do. This will heal

Norman Bakshandeh, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Incision after Tummy Tuck

It will all heal. It is going to take time!

The other answers have been accurate. Please be patient. This does happen.

This is easy to say and horrible to have to go thru this! I'm sorry.

After it heals it will look surprisingly good. Sometimes a minor revision will be necessary to improve the scar.

Good Luck, it will be fine!

Dr. Chris Saunders

Christopher Saunders, MD
Wilmington Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Debridement and local wound care

You have fat necrosis and the wound opening is due to the poor circulation or too much tension. The best treatment is local debridement and application of Vac. You will heal fine ,but it will take time (4-6 weeks). The traditional treatment is wet to dry but Vac treatment works faster.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Debridement is needed


Thank you for the question an photo.  Your body is communicating that it cannot or does not want to heal at this time with sutures alone.  The most common reason for this is tissue with poor blood supply sometimes referred to as fat necrosis.  When this occurs the skin has enough blood supply to look viable but the fat underneath does not.  Debridement of the fat will be an important part of having your incision heal.  The skin may or may not be able to be closed after debridement depending on the amount of tension present.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta


Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 111 reviews

Tummy Tuck Healing Problem


Sorry you're still having problems. Re-suturing this kind of wound will not work.

Treatment for the kind of problem seen in your photo:

  • The "dead" tissue must be surgically removed ( debrided).
  • The wound will then be much larger; it will need daily wound care (cleaning and packing).
  • Fresh pink tissue will appear (granulation tissue) and the wound will close itself (healing by secondary intention) over several months.
  • The final scar, once healed and softened (6-18 months) may need surgical revision.

Good Luck!

Stephen M. Lazarus, MD
Knoxville Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Wound opening after tummy tuck

Thanks for your question and I'm sorry you're having issues.


It looks like there is some loss of tissue around the open wound which could be the result of many things.  Since you have failed attempted reclosure the safest and best course of action is likely packing the wound and allowing things to heal by secondary intention.


This will be a longer process unfortunately, probably requiring 3-4 weeks of dressing changes.  It may also result in a more prominent scar which can be revised in the future.


I hope this helps.

Recurrent Suture Line Openings In TT After Multiple Revisions

As you can see, your Real Self team of expert plastic surgeons all agree that it is time to stop attempting to close TT suture line, pack the wound, dressing changes, and allow it to heal by itself (secondary closure). 

We as plastic surgeons want our patients to be happy and have every surgery work out perfectly.  At times, there are complications which just must be allowed to heal on their own.  This is one of those times.  If you and your plastic surgeon continue attempting wound closure, it will lead to an infection which will be much more difficult to treat.  Standard wound healing techniques will allow this wound to close in weeks to perhaps months, but the ultimate result should be really favorable.   Consider hyperbaric oxygen as a means of getting the wound to heal faster, and therefore less chance of infection.

Your picture indicates to me that more of the wound will open before healing.  Once you get good granulation tissue, your wound will start to contract no matter how wide it appears.  Things will get better.

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.