Wound opening again. Any suggestions? (photos)

I had a TT 8/29 and got wound necrosis the doctor did a 2nd surgery and just removed 2 more inches of skin & closed me back up. But now 2 weeks out there are spots that are opening up again. What do I do?

Doctor Answers 5

Wound Opening Again

I'm sorry you have had such a complex course after your abdominoplasty.  I recommend you contact your plastic surgeon to evaluate the wound.  They will likely initiate dressing changes to keep the wound clean and allow your body to heal up the area.


Dr. Dan Krochmal

MAE Plastic Surgery

Northbrook, IL

Chicago General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Wound healing issues after tummy tuck

Thanks for the question.  I am sorry to hear about your recurrent wound healing issues.  There are two reasons why wound healing issues occur with tummy tucks.  One is a disruption in the blood supply to the tissues surrounding the wound.  The second is too much tension on the wound itself.  It appears that you have a combination of both contributing factors in your delayed healing.  At this point, a third surgery will probably not be effective.  I recommend seeing your plastic surgeon and doing more frequent dressing changes.  Another possibility may be the use of an outpatient wound vac to encourage the wound healing process.  Thanks for the question and good luck

Wound opening again. Any suggestions?

This should heal on its own. Make sure you follow your plastic surgeon's advice on wound care and are seen if any problems come up. 

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Open wound and necrosis at 2 weeks post-op is no fun

I'm very sorry to hear that you are having this problem with surgery, and I'm sure it's especially frustrating because you have now had it happen after already one attempt at repair.  Of all the things that are likeliest to happen after surgery to complicate our recovery, wound healing issues like this are probably one of the most common, so you are not alone.  I know this doesn't make it any easier to deal with, but at least you can rest assured that it's not something "weird" or that any of us, including your own surgeon, haven't seen or had to deal with at some point.  While none of us can say for sure exactly why this keeps happening to you, I can tell at least from your images that, like most ladies who need a tummy tuck, the tissues that we are starting with are already somewhat abnormal.  They are stretched, thin, and have disordered blood supply.  Then we do a tummy tuck, and this further stresses the already abnormal tissues.  Fortunately most tolerate it and go on to heal without incident, but sometimes we experience wound healing issues like this.  In those instances in which we try to repair an open wound like this early, sometimes it will just open back up because the tissues on the borders of the new wound are still stressed, and all we do by trying to repair them too early is stress them more.  From the appearance of your wounds in the images, there does not appear to be any overt infection or fluid collection issues, either, and those are two culprits that we see from time to time, too.  At this point, most surgeons would agree that the best management for this wound would be debridement to remove any necrotic (dead) tissue, frequent cleansing in the shower, and dressing changes and wound packing.  This allows the tissues to recover from the trauma and stress of the tissues and regain their blood supply and stability.  Then once everything heals sufficiently we can return to revise the scars or close any smaller residual wounds electively, but this time with stronger tissues and without so much stress as that imposed by the initial larger operation.  Make sure you maintain open communication with your surgeon and and follow his or her recommendations closely.  I know these are always tough, frustrating situations to be in, but rest assured, this things go on to heal, and we can recover a beautiful result from this.  Best of luck.

Tummy tuck ne

Sorry to hear about your tummy tuck healing issues.  Necrosis occurs in one way or another from lack of blood supply.  Sometimes removing the necrotic skin and reclining works sometime doing so continues to stress the blood supply to the tissue and wound healing issues persist.  I suspect your plastic surgeon will likely treat your conservatively with dressing changes until the skin and soft-tissue has a chance to stabilize its blood supply issues.  I can imagine it is a scary process.  The good news is that it will heal.  It may take a little longer than you would want but healing will occur with time.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 153 reviews

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.