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Skin Died After Tummy Tuck!

I had lost 90 ponds and decided to do a tummy tuck...

I had lost 90 ponds and decided to do a tummy tuck on dec 17, 09 and now I have necrosis (skin death) in front of my belly. I'm 27, non smoker, not a diabetic...

the doctor is taking good care of me, he sees me every week. but now my tummy is kinda ruined!!!

need some words of encouragement!

why did this happen? I dont have a hole, yet, but the skin first looked burned then the doctor removed it and now i have an open wound of 3-4 inches. Is this the doctors fault? could he have prevented it? has this happened to anyone out there? did you heal? what did it look like after it healed? could the doctor fix the scar?
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Yes I know.... my hubby works in healthcare and was awesome at the beginning. I felt so horrible for him. I didnt spend any time in hospital. My surgery was 3.5 hours and within about 2.5 hours after I was on my way home. That was ridiculous. He was there and watched all my debridements, changed my dressings everyday (a few times a day) did my packing and came to my appointments. It has only been since I could do it myself that he has a hard time. I think out of sight out of mind. We are both very upset about the outcome and were hoping for the best and ended up with the worst. I had to have him come home from work to feed me and take me to the bathroom and then tuck me back in bed. That lasted almost a week. Thankfully I didnt have the kids at home that week because I wouldnt have been able to look after them as I couldnt look after myself. He was awesome.... my parents drove me around to the odd appointment also but I really wanted to do things alone. My mom actually helped me have my first shower. Dont get me wrong... it hasnt been easy on any of us... my husband and I included. It is really tough to get over.
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I'm so sad to hear about the issues this is causing in your marriage... My parents and my boyfriend helped me 100% along the way... specially my boyfriend, because my mos is kinda squeamish and she was extremely nervous at the time, so she took care of me in terms of cooking for me, getting me confortable in my roon, cleaning the room to minimize the germs etc. My dad took me to all my appointments, he carried me to the bathroon if I needed to, lifted my back in the bed, that sort of things, but my boyfriend, (whom at the time have been dating for 8 months) was my prime caretaker. He stayed during the days with me in the hospital, (mom was on night duty)he stayed over my parent's house for the first week and did everything for me! Afterwards he was with me the whole day and at night would go back to his place only to sleep. When I got debridded, he was the one who did all the wound cleaning for all those months, he took me to the hyperbaric chamber appointments... I'm telling you, he and my parents were the best.. I don't know what I would've done without them... So you have to talk straight with your man, and tell him that YOU NEED HIM! Tell him if it was the other way around you would be there for him unconditionally! remind him the vows he took on the day of your wedding! It's no time to talk about liposuction or another procedure, because you haven't healed yet. First you have to heal completely and then you start thinking about corrective procedures.
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well ilovetwilig I am happy you are more comfortable with it as is your boyfriend... thats great. Unfortunately I dont have that. My husband cant look at it as he finds it depressing. It has affected our relationship and has been on both our minds for a long time now wondering what it is going to look like when the scarring starts to lighten. I have all sorts of lumps and bumps so it is more of an issue than the color of the scarring. I have no idea what sort of revision I could have and if it will make a difference becaus eof all the lumps. He was talking liposuction to help diminish the lumps but i really dont know if I wanna go through that. As for the forewarning... I had no idea this was a complication. My PS did very little patient education in advance. I guess some of that is my fault because I didnt ask either and didnt know what to ask. Anyway, it is getting better and you have to keep positive or it will eat you up!!
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Judith, don't freak out, ok? Try to take things calmly. This is part of the risks that we all agreed to take when we made the decision. There is no use in thinking of past decisions, since they've already been taken... try to think positive always. That;s what I do. I haven't has a scar revision yet. first the tissue needs to get soft, but my PS is going to do it for me, free of charge when my body is ready. He told me that it's a simple procedure (compared to the tummy tuck), and not to worry. I think that after the scar revision, it will look so much better. Krystal has had it worse than me, so I feel for you sweetie! But don't worry, have faith that after all this is over, you can have a reconstructive procedure (with another PS I'm sure) and you'll be ok. For my part, I don't look at it that much, but for some weird funny reason, my boyfriend loves touching it! lol! he gets a kick out of it! Says it's part of my sex appeal!! hahaha!
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I do have a horrible scar. My PS said he cant do anything for about a year. I dont know if I am going to have to pay him again though but I am so sorry I did this to myself. It has completely disfigured my body. My scarring is very purple about 2.5 inches thick in the middle. I dunno what is going to become of it as it is pretty horrible scarring around my belly button also. I have bumps and lumps because I had to regrow the tissue so it looks like a had tissue cut out and now it grew back only it isnt even. It is horrible... i hope yours goes better than mine. Mine had good blood flow too after he debrided a number of times to cut the rot out. Mine looks like a shark bite.... hope you have better luck than me....
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I totally agree with what you wrote, Krystal... We went through the same thing. Follow your doctor's orders! Thank goodness I've healed. My scar is about 3in x 2in, and it looks just as Krystal said, a bite, only that mines is from a smaller animal, like a bulldog instead of a shark. In my case, all that flesh is really hard and stiff... my doc said to massage it with hand cream an that in will become loosey and soft (like normal belly skin) in a couple of months... Krystal, have you gained much more weight??? I'm going crazy, I've gained 30 pounds since my operation in December and I cant lose it!!! My diets do not work anymore, so, even though I hate exercising, I'm going to have to join a gym :-((((((((( But I'll tell you this, even with 30 more pounds and the scar, my body still looks better than before.. lol!
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Are you going to get scar revision? My PS debridded all the black eschar off 2 days ago and it looks healthier nice and pink with good blood flow but he is telling me he is going to do a scar revision? Yous guys haven't mentioned that or have you had one and it still looks like a bulldog took a bite out you omg I'm so scared I am going to have a horrible scar.
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I have gained about 15 to 20 lbs since my surgery. I havent exercised and havent really dieted too much. I have to start getting serious about it though. I actually think I look worse post op than I did before. All my weight seems to have settled in my thighs and my ass! My tummy still swells a lot in the evening so it is hard to tell if I am gaining more weight there (above where my surgery was)as there was no lipo or anything there. I regret this decision so bad.... I dont have pics but maybe i could finally take some. I have had a couple taken throughout but nothing when it was wide open. I have been massaging mine with vitamin E cream. I have so much scarring though I cant imagine that it will ever heal decently.
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OMG I am going through the same thing I have an area that blistered up and now is a blackish brown PS said to keep clean and moist with neosporin I dont have a hole yet but I am so scared I have done nothing but cry since I seen this. He wanted to see me in a week and I just called and requested that he see's me every other day so this wont get out of control, he is such a great doctor he agreed he will see me that often, I just want to nip this in the bud before it gets worse.
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I only got a hole because they had to cut out the rotting tissue. Mine started that way and it was the size of a loonie (in canadian dollars). keep an eye on it and see him. The sooner you get rid of it the better I think. I am 6 months post op and still not healed totally. It is a huge intrusion on my life and and I am very unhappy with the outcome. My PS said he can fix some of the scarring next year butu because I ended up missing a huge section of my addomen, it didnt heal right and now it is all bumpy and indented as if I have a shark bite taken out of my tummy. I dont want to scare you but you need to know what you may be in for. The only thing you can do is keep seeing your doctor and take his/her advice. I guess there is about a 3% chance that this can happen to anyone and much more increased if you smoke. I wish you the best and hope that it isnt what I had. I know others who didnt have the same outcome as I did and were able to have only a small section cut out and stitched. Unfortunately I wasnt one of them. :(
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it terms of pain, I've had zero pain throughout this process. since all my belly is still numb from the operation, I haven't felt anything; even in the debridments I did not feel anything. I hope I start feeling something in my belly soon, because it feels weird when I'm fully dressed, if I touch my belly, I have no idea where my belly button is! lol Girls, I hope all of you are doing better in your situation, thank you for your comments. When this happened to me, I searched and searched this in the web for the longest time information about necrosis and blogs or testimonials of other women that have been through this and didn't find almost anything, only one blog here in Realself. Now, if something like this happens to anyone in the future, once they search I know that this blog comes up in the search and they know that they are not alone in this process, that other women have been through it. Thanks!
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am happy to hear that its closing, but what about the pain? i had an breast aug, and full tummy tuck and dveloped nercosis below belly button 5.5 wks ago and my torso feels like the worst suburn ever! I'm very unhappy. I've tried rubbing it 10xs a day as my Dr. requested but no relief yet?Not to mention the costant cramping I have below my scar area. What can I do ?
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I dont have much in terms of pain either but am not enjoying the nerve pain I am starting to get as the nerves reconnect. I put vitamin e cream on my scar and massage it every day as per my doctor request. He is happy with how it is healing but I am not very happy as it isnt what I signed up for. Anyway, slowly it is getting better but it has been 4.5 months!!!I dont think I would have done this again knowing what I know now. Thankfully I have very little cramping....
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Glad to hear you are doing so well ilovetwilig! I just got a measure again on Wed and it is 4.1 cm x 1 cm wide. I looked at it last night though and thought that it looks a little wider than that but it is only just under my belly button that isnt closed. soon enough. I really dont like my belly button though but hopefully ti will change a bit more over the year. I hope to be closed also in a week or two. I had my first sleep over in our camper last nigght but unfortately had to bring stuff for a dressing change anyway. Oh well it i so much better than it was!!!
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Hey Krystal, well, I'm almost done with mine, I have 1cm to go and it's been 5 months since my operation... hopefully it can close completely in 1-2 weeks so I can start my summer! great to hear from you girls!!!
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Hi crystal , i am happy to hear something from you which is at least improvement. It would really seem a long time to any one who really has gone through such trauma but keep the faith and good spirit along with our prayers you will be completly over this soon. All the best keep us posted
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Update: I was hoping to be closed by May 5 for some tequila tasting but didnt happen. My right side closed this week and now it is only 8.5 cm by 2 cm in the largest spot. I cant believe the skin is migrating the way it is. It isnt that you are necessarily growing new skin but it seems like the skin moves like a glacier. it is feeling tight and I am still getting dressing changes daily. Now using adaptic instead of bactigras and vitaman E cream. Tried bio oil but I think I got a rash from it. I will try it again when my skin is a little less irritated. seem to have a lot of allergies now to all the tape so not sure if it was the tape or the bio oil. How is everyone else? I think I am on week 14. Sad thing is I hate my belly button. It looks like a flat pancake!! ok well with a little pucker in the middle. Surgeon said he cant revise it for a year but I am hoping that it will sink in by itself as I am really not keen on another surgery. drop me a line :)
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Update.... still getting dressing changes but the skin is finally growing closed. Seemingly my right side is closing faster than the left but they say that you always have one spot that heals better than the other. My dressing changes consist of Bactigras on the wound, telpha pads (non-stick) with ABD's over top. My main issue is the reactions I am getting to all the tape!! Cant believe I havent scratched myself open during the night when I am soooo itchy. I am still wearing the binder all day and only take it off to sleep. Hoping the swelling will soon be going down so my new belly button doesnt look like a flat "loonie" (I am Canadian eh). I seem to have a bit of a bulge around the belly button but it is my whole abdomen, not just my belly button. I still havent looked at my tummy since I had it originally debrided early Feb. so I have no idea how bad it really was - so I cant appreciate how much better it is I guess. I find it too upsetting and gross... I just dont have it in me to look. I hope to just wait til it is closed and see the finished product. I talked to another surgeon who said this can be from the surgeon being too aggressive in the surgery and destroying the blood flow resulting in tissue death. So, do I think it is my surgeons fault? yes I do... he has been decent to deal with in terms of my care, and I think he is genuinely a nice man however I think he was reckless in my surgery. Feeling like I had broken ribs for over a week wasnt the only issue obviously in my surgery. I think I am now on week 9. Hoping to be closed by June 1. :(
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Hi Krystal: nice hearing from you and a great relief for me to hear something positive i am delighted. I don't blame you for not wanting to do anything else as far as the experience you already had. Take it easy now and once again keep me posted about your healing as it progresses. Good luck to all of you
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Well update... got the vac dressing off a week ago yesterday and I grew 2 cm of skin tissue so it is getting smaller finally. I am feeling so much better after the vac dressing was off as I found it painful to have it changed every two days. I think I am officially on the mend. Still wearing the binder everyday and now back to dressing changes everyday but I finally feel that I am making progress. Hope to wear real clothes in a couple of months :) Cant wait to wear a pair of jeans however that seems so far off!! Thanks for your thoughts.
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Hello girls!!!! Here is my update: On march 16, the doc sent me to take hyperbaric oxigen therapy (with the vac at the same time). I took 9 hyperbaric oxigen therapies and ended on march 26. That same day they took the vac off (finally!). But this was after I called the doctors the day before and told them that I couldnot pay the treatments anymore (my health plan doesn't cover it). The vac cost $800/week and the hyperbaric treatments cost $625/week and the vac I had since jan 27, so you can imagine how much I've paid. And even though I paid all that, I had to take a leave from work, the wound didn't close! from a 6cmx6cmx1cm it only reduced to 3cmx3.4cmx1cm. So I talked to the doctors and they agreed that it was best that I was off the vac and started the dressing changes everyday. The doctors signed the paperwork and Istarted working on monday (apr05). I am currently using Acticoat absorbent with silver to treat the wound and now that I'm off the vac is when I've seen the biggest improvement. I dont want to be skeptical and say that I got played with the vac treatments, but I kinda feel like that. In the beginning they told me that with the vac it was going to close in 4 weeks and it's been a 2 1/2 months and my wound is still halfway! And to top it all off, since I was off from work and staying in my parent's house, couldnt exercise, walk, sweat or sit for long periods of time and the doctor told me to eat full, complete meals (specially proteins) I gained 20 pounds! so I'm kinda stretching my skin a little... since I'm 5'10" it doesnt show thaaaaaat much, but there is a difference.... I look a bit more thick in my torso :-( But my boyfriend ecourages me a lot saying not to worry that when I get back to my usual eating habits and lose the extra pounds Im gonna look great! So, ever since I got back to work on monday, I started my diet, and returned to my normal life and just let my body heal itself. Maybe in my case "less is more". Krystal, I know how you feel about the clothes issue... since the wound is right in your waist you cant use anything that gives pressure to that area! I had to buy maternity jeans and pants for work and I make sure that every shirt I use covers the spandex part! My plastic surgeon has been great with me... I see him every week and he tells me not to worry that he's going to fix any scar that the ulcer leaves and he did several debridments and has never charged me a dime (thank goodness!!!). Girls, thank you for your wishes! It really means a lot to me!
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How are things going?
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Hey Krystal! Things are going good, Right now I only have a small hole where a cotton swab fits. I clean it (with the cotton swab and the wound cleanser) every two days so it can stimulate the flesh and it can keep closing. Everything should be fully closed by next week. So, that means that I should be able to go to the beach safely for the 4th of july weekend!!! :-) How abot you? how's your recovery going?
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I was at the clinic today to have the nurse look at it and clean it. I usually do that every day and have only a scab on it now about a 1 x 1.5 cm. It doesnt look all that great but it is a lot better than I thought I was going to end up with! dealing with some nerve pain which I dont appreciate much and a lot of swelling over the day. Have to figure out how to lose all the weight I gained eating well and laying around for 4.5 months!!! I still have some dressing, polysporin, adaptic and a abd pad for comfort so it doesnt rub on my waistband. still wearing my binder occasionally but it is pretty stretched out and getting ugly from being worn so much!! And you guys? how are things?
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hi I am having wound issues too and I was wondering if you happen to have pics of your wound at the beginning because I personally think I should be on a wound vac too but my PS is balking at the idea if you dont have pics maybe if you know the other girls on the discussion board that dont mind sharing. please I really feel lost and desperate.

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