Tummy tuck done 4 months ago and small lump below the incision. What could be wrong? (photo)

Hello, I had a small lump below my incision for which my PCP drained last week. I'm currently taking antibiotics for 10 days. The lump went down but small lump still there. I had my surgery in another State and has had no complications since this issue. Hard to find a Surgeon in my area. Most are busy till January. Is this something I should be worried about?

Doctor Answers 6

Tummy tuck done 4 months ago and small lump below the incision. What could be wrong?

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You need to rule-out a collection or infection. 

Please follow up with your doctor as these issues require the attention of a plastic surgeon.

Beverly Hills General Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 318 reviews

Tummy tuck done 4 months ago and small lump below the incision.

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I am sorry to hear about the problem you are experiencing.  These types of wounds are usually caused by an underlying suture;  its removal is necessary to allow for wound healing to occur.  Best to let your plastic surgeon know of your situation;  an exploration of the area may be necessary. Best wishes.

Small Lump 4 Months Post-Op

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Swelling can persist for several months and will gradually improve and will look better at three months, six months, and even one year. Frequently the pubic area and the scrotal and penis area for men can become very swollen and discolored during the first two weeks due to gravity as this is the lowest area for swelling to accumulate.

It may take several months for a tummy tuck patient’s scars to soften, for sensation to return, and for relaxing of the tight sensation in the abdomen. In the case of extensive surgery, abdominoplasty recovery can be uncomfortable and may take longer. Scars may stay red, become thick or widen . It can take 12-18 months for the scars to settle.

These can be improved with topical treatments such as BioCorneum, Scar Guard , Scar Fade and Mederma. Redness can be improved with laser treatments and the scars can be kept narrow with products such as Embrace.  On occasion, keloids or hypertrophic scars can develop and will need treatment including Kenalog, 5FU and laser.

If you are worried that it is not swelling or your incision then it would be best to visit your surgeon to have the area examined to make sure that the healing process is going well. Good luck.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Wound and lump 4 months after TT

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It is possible what you are experiencing is just a local suture issue, but you really need to contact the surgeon who did the operation. If there are permanent sutures under the wound, this may indicate an infection in the suture which is very hard to treat completely and often gets better and recurs after antibiotic therapy is over. Oral and topical antibiotics are the best treatment. 

In most cases this presentation is common and part of the healing process - cleansing the wound and dressing it, coupled with massage should be adequate in treating it.

Michele A. Shermak, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 57 reviews


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This could be  sinus tract that leads to a suture that has not dissolved.  You may need to have the scar opened in this area to explore it and remove the offending foreign body.  

Wound healing problem after tummy tuck

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Sorry to hear about your problem.  It's hard to tell just in the photos you sent, but it may be that you have a deep stitch that is infected and has found a way to drain out through the skin.  Did you show these pics to your original surgeon?  An examination in person would be the best way to diagnose and treat your wound healing problem.  If you can't find a PS to help you, consider going to see a general 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.