55 year old with a slow recovery from a Tummy Tuck? (Photos)

I had a tummy tuck with lipo (w umbilical hernia) 4.5 weeks ago after a large weight loss by diet. But, I ended up with necrosis at my belly button, right hip and front section above the pubis. I am a non-smoker. I first used nitro-bac 4x day and now saline dressings. Also 1 week of antibiotics. The hip is now raw and sore (but not inflamed). I am not standing up straight much, I walk slowly, and my stomach is achy still. I usually heal well; I am looking for a little reassurance. Thank you!

Doctor Answers 8

Tummy tuck wound

Thanks for your inquiry and sorry for your struggles. I think your wounds are healing fine.  Be patient, as this will take time.  I am glad you are a good healer, but these wounds do happen after tummy tuck to normal, healty people.  Please keep seeing your plastic surgeon regularly.  

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 200 reviews

Slow recovery from a tummy tuck

Thank you for the question and photos. It is rather difficult to fully assess your situation without an in-person examination. A certain degree of swelling, bruising, or discomfort following a tummy tuck is fairly common and is expected to resolve during the healing process, which on average takes up to 4-6 months. Antibiotics are typically prescribed in cases of invasive infection. It is imperative that your surgeon be aware of your concerns. An in-person exam with a board-certified plastic surgeon is always the best way to assess your needs and obtain reliable medical advice. Best of luck! Dr. Michael Omidi.

Michael M. Omidi, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

55 year old with a slow recovery from a Tummy Tuck?

You appear to be having a reaction to the sutures that are under the skin. This may be slow to heal, but it sounds like you're surgeon is taking good care of you. You may require removal of some of the sutures in the wounds, but all of these will ultimately heal. A scar revision may improve your scar, but you should not do this until everything has healed for a few months.

Don W. Griffin, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

55 year old with a slow recovery from a Tummy Tuck?

Thank you for your question and I am sorry to hear of your recovery difficulties.  I agree that based on the location of your wound healing difficulties, as well as the clearly exposed length of suture material in your second photograph, that you are having a suture rejection episode.  I would recommend seeing your surgeon for an in-person evaluation and discussion as to the suture material used and whether removal would be your best option at achieving complete closure.  Hope this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

55 year old with a slow recovery from a Tummy Tuck? (Photos)

Hi, sorry for your delay recuperation.You need to increase your  protein intake,  add a daily intake of 3 grams of Vitamin C, and I would  also recommend an antibiotic ointment over your open wounds. Some times a poor diet may get you into low protein level and prone to a slow  healing after a plastic or any other surgery.Keep your PS instructions carefully and be patient, complications occurs.

Adolfo Sesto, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Wound healing after tummy tuck

Sorry to hear about your tummy tuck recovery.  Since the areas involved are limited to a few millimeters above the incision and since it occurred on the side as well as in the center I am wondering if this is not necrosis and more of a suture line infection.  The good news is that you appear to be healing.  Suture removal when it becomes exposed may be helpful.  I recommend seeing your plastic surgeon regularly until the areas are primarily healed and then periodically as the final incision line scar matures.  A scar revision down the road may be beneficial.
All the best,
Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 165 reviews

Tummy tuck

The photos appear to show signs of proper healing. However, if you have concerns you should follow up with your surgeon. Everyone is different, some people recover very well and some do not, it may take longer, but hopefully you will heal soon! Best wishes!

Michael R. Whetstone, MD
Irving Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Tummy tuck - wounds healing slowly

Thank you for asking about your tummy tuck.
  • It is difficult to tell what is going on -
  • Your photos suggest you have delayed healing along the suture line and/or necrosis -
  • With wet dressings or other standard wound care, these will heal but it will take several weeks. 
  • This can occur from pressure on an incision or as a reaction to irritation from deeper sutures.
  • These problems are naturally of great concern but usually heal well.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 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.