What would cause hardness where the sutures were after Tummy Tuck with Lipo?

The right side of my incision took 4 months to close up, I had multiple eruptions from spitting sutures. I was symptom free for 3 months then this month a large lump formed just below the incision (pubis area) I had an ultrasound to r/o hernia, it was an abscess so my surgeon opened it up, got a few suture fragments out and let it drain, it is now healed but I still feel a hardness there and the hardness seems to be spreading. Is this new scar tissue or more fluid building up?

Doctor Answers 5

What would cause hardness where the sutures were after Tummy Tuck with Lipo?

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Typical scar tissue reaction that should improve over a few months. Or have "kenalog" injections to soften. 

Tummy tuck with spitting sutures

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Dissolving sutures are usually gone by three months, and the return of an abscess may be related to an area of fat necrosis along the suture line which became contaminated during the upset with the sutures. Fat necrosis is an area of dead fat where caught in the sutures. After drainage and control of the infection, the stiffness can persist for a long time, several months. If the hardness is spreading let your surgeon see you right away to confirm the infection is indeed gone.

Best of luck,


Scar from delayed healing is often hard.

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When a wound is allowed to heal in over time, this generates a significant amount of scar tissue. This process (termed "closure by secondary intention") prevents the re-accumulation of fluid or blood which can lead to another abscess. Once the skin has healed, it is not uncommon for the area to feel quite firm. This generally improves, but can take over a year until it has stopped softening.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Hardness after tummy tuck

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It sounds like this is nothing more than some scar tissue left over from when the wound opened and it shoukld go down in several months.

Hardness in scar after tummy tuck

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After the abscess you have had and subsequent surgery (drainage and removal of suture) you can expect to have a thickened scar that may take months to resolve. I typically will allow at least 6 months for this inflammatory phase to subside before even considering a revision.


Delio Ortegon, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

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