6 Weeks Post Op - Healing Normally? (photo)

At 5 Weeks post op I submitted some pics. Now I am 6 weeks the scabs have fallen off and now there's a mild bad smell coming from the area. My doctor says the same thing: "Keep clean and dry. It will heal." Just looking for a bit more inputs as to whether or not I am still ok and if I can do anything more to speed up the healing process. Thanks in advance. I would do the surgery again. Love the new me! But need some healing advice. (Full TT with Lipo and Breast Reduction for mom makeover.)

Doctor Answers 10

Wound healing will take awhile-- meet with your PS to devise a plan.

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                Your pictures suggest wound separation following abdominoplasty surgery. Under these circumstances, it’s not unusual for secondary infection to develop as well.                 This complication can be seen following abdominoplasty surgery and occurs for a variety of reasons. It’s often related to poor blood supply to the skin flaps, excess tension on the wound closure, fluid collections, primary infections and patient noncompliance. Each of these factors can significantly increase the potential for this type of problem. Once separation occurs, it’s not unusual to develop secondary wound infections.                 Once this type of problem has developed aggressive local wound care is indicated. This may require surgical debridement and dressing changes. In some cases, a VAC suction system may be indicated as well. If infection is present, antibiotics may also be necessary.                 With appropriate local wound care, this type of wound should heal without difficulty. Unfortunately, this wound healing might take several months to occur and a touch up scar revision may be necessary as well.                 It’s important that you maintain close contact with your plastic surgeon. Your plastic surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that addresses your concerns.

Wound healing problems after an abdominoplasty

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Wound separation and marginal ischemia are not normal but are also not uncommon. You should be evaluated by your plastic surgeon, debrided as needed and placed on a wound protocol to avoid problems while healing. 

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Wound Separation after Tummy Tuck

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    Wound separation after tummy tuck can happen, but any concern for dead tissue should be evaluated and possibly debrided.  Close followup is mandatory to monitor for infection.

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Tummy tuck healing

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Wound breakdown after a tummy tuck is one of the more common surgical complications. It is more common  with smokers or diabetics. Any smell is colonization of bacteria on dead tissue and requires debridement with surgery or dressing changes. Eat extra protein and calories and see your doctor for further advice. Good Luck!

Gregory T. Lynam, MD
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Post Operative Wound Healing

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Thank you for the question and the picture. What you are experiencing is not "normal", but also not unusual. Your body will heal this as long as it is kept clean. I would discuss with your plastic surgeon the possibility of removing some of the necrotic tissue in the wound. This will help with the smell. Ultimately these areas will be closed by the body's healing mechanism and in time will most likely look just like the portion of the incision that has healed without problems. After the wound has healed it is possible that you may require a revision of the incision.

I hope this helps. Best of luck.

Mommy Makeover - post op healing

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Hi, Unfortunately your incision has come apart a little.  the underlying tissue should be cleaned up a little bit by the surgeon.  Everything that doesn't bleed is what I usually clean up if I have a dehiscence.  That cleaning will help with the smell.  I recommend a wet to dry dressing regimen after the surgeon removes the tissue that doesn't bleed.  Best wishes!!

Your healing problems will get better with time

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You are experiencing problems with healing of your tummy tuck incision, which can happen despite your surgeon doing everything right.  I agree with the advice that you have been given, that the wound will heal with time.  After the wound has closed up, a revision of the scar can be done and you will have a minimal scar in this area.

Shim Ching, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Two ways to deal with wound

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Thank you for the question and the photo.  There is some necrotic tissue near the incision. The body will eventually take care of this by essentially dessolving it and pushing it out.  This process will take longer and will likely require a scar revision in the future.  The other option is to cut the dead tissue away and either let it heal from the inside out or close the wound directly.  This process is faster and if the wound is closed directly the resulting scar will be better.  Discuss these issues with your plastic surgeon to see if they are an option for you.


All the best,


Dr Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Incision Line Healing Problem after Mommy Makeover?

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Congratulations on having undergone the mommy makeover procedures. The incision line healing problem you are experiencing does occur occasionally after these types of operations.  Generally speaking, patients go on to heal nicely over the course of the next several weeks.

 It will be important for you to continue to follow-up with your plastic surgeon closely. He/she will be in the best position to rule out infection and/or remove any foreign bodies ( absorbable sutures or staples)  that may delay healing. Otherwise, “tincture of time” is the best remedy.

 Congratulations again: hopefully you will be very pleased with the long-term results of your procedures.

Healing Normally?

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I wouldn't call this "normal" but it is what one would expect based upon the photos in your last posting. The good news is that it will get better and heal and you are probably looking at the worst of it now. 

I think it would be worthwhile to ask you surgeon about trimming some of the non-viable tissue in the wound and removing any remaining suture material if any in the open areas. 

Chances are that the open areas will remain red for longer than the rest of the incision that has healed "normally" but once 6 to 12 months have passed all the incisions will look the same.

Thanks for the continued follow up. Best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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.