How to Treat a Hematoma That is Now Infected?

I have gone through so much. After bleeding from the wound for weeks after having a hematoma removed after a tummy tuck. I was told that it is infected. My PS said he must go in and open the wound to clean it out. This will be my 3rd surgery. I dont want to do this again. Is it mandatory? Are there any other options? Is this normal to treat the infection? 3 surgeries seems like a lot. TT was done on Oct 23rd. Complications ever since! Please Help!"

Doctor Answers 9

Infection after Tummy Tuck?

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I'm sorry to hear about the complications you have experienced after tummy tucks surgery. Unfortunately, if you are dealing with an infected hematoma, a drainage procedure is indicated. Generally speaking, it is important to remove/drain any “contaminated” fluid and/or unhealthy tissue.

 If still in doubt, it may give you peace of mind to seek a second opinion  with other board certified plastic surgeons in your area.

 Best wishes.

Seek treatment, immediately.

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Unfortunately, bleeding and hematoma formation can occur when patients undergo abdominoplasty surgery.When this situation arises it’s appropriate to drain the hematoma and place drains.When hematomas are drained, blood that has infiltrated the soft tissue is always left behind and sometimes can become infected.
Under these circumstances, re-operative surgery is usually always necessary to remove residual blood and infected tissue.Once infected, blood acts as an excellent culture media and without removal can lead to septic complications.For this reason, it’s appropriate for your surgeon to treat this problem as soon as possible.

Cleaning ... best treatment for infection

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I am sorry that you have had this problems.

Your PS is right on target. draining hematomas that are infected is the best way to control the complication. Although is seems excessive, it is the most expeditious way to control the problem and bring you back to the adequate course.

Be patient. Hopefully this is just a temporary thing.

Best of luck

Julio Clavijo-Alvarez

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Hematoma following tummy tuck

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It sounds like an evacuation procedure will allow this to heal correctly. Your PS will remove all the old blood and scar tissue. These things happen, you are just one of the unlucky patients with a complication.

How to Treat a Hematoma That is Now Infected?

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Sorry hear about your ordeal. Contaminated collections of blood and fluid will usually not be adequately treated by antibiotics alone, and the advice for an operative approach sounds correct. All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Infection after Tummy Tuck Following Hematoma

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    Hematoma after tummy tuck probably occurs 1% of cases, and infection after this is possible.  I hope that you are now healing well and infection free.

Infected Hematoma after TT!!

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 I am so sorry to hear about your adverse events. Yes, it is mandatory for an infected hematoma to be drained/ cared for by surgery. Failure to so can be disastrous.
 Two questions do come to mind that you may want to ask your surgeon. First, do you have a BLEEDING DISORDER that makes you prone to beed. Second, WHAT BACTERIA or FUNGUS is causing this infection.
 Remember that you and your surgeon need to work together to get you over these adverse events. Smoking/ Secondary Smoking, taking medication that can make you bleed ( Alka Seltzer), not following recommendations, etc. will only prolong your agony. If you have lost faith in your surgeon consider another but, few surgeons/ contractors like to clean up a mess that someone else has created. With a high incidence of future medical-legal actions, lack of funds/ insurance coverage for adverse events, etc. it is often a Lose/ Lose situation for another surgeon.
  This is why it is always good to consider a cosmetic surgeon that provides Cosmetic Surgery Insurance like Cosmetic Assure or Cosmetic Protect as part of you package price for surgery. These companies provide insurance  coverage for most adverse events after aesthetic surgery. We provide this service/ coverage for all our cosmetic surgery patients just in case unpredictable untoward events occur in the post operative period. I hope things work out for you. Best,



Gary R Culbertson, MD, FACS

Gary R. Culbertson, MD
Columbia Plastic Surgeon

Revision surgery after a tummy tuck complication

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I am sorry to hear about the trouble that you are going through.  Plastic surgeons are doctors first and foremost and our intention is always to help our patients and do what is best for them.  Sometimes when faced with a problem the best thing to do is to go back to the operating room and correct it.  Delaying surgery can sometimes make the problem worse.  If you are ever in doubt about what your doctor is telling you then getting a second opinion from a respected board-certified plastic surgeon in your area may provide you with peace of mind.  Best of luck.

Wound infection following an abdominoplasty

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If you have signs and symptoms of an infection such as redness, warmth, fever and chills then you most likely have a wound infection.  Unfortunately some times one complication begets another.  If your plastic surgeon feels that there is non-viable tissue and it is infected then there is no other recourse other than cleansing the entire area and making sure it is free of non-viable tissue and has adequate drainage.  You will also need a wound culture to be sure you are on the correct antibiotic.  When properly treated you should heal uneventfully.  

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.