I am 4 weeks post op. Is such an infection normal after a tummy tuck? (photo)

I developed a bad infection week 2 that left me disfigured. Dr says he can repair it or skin graft it after a wound pump. This isnt what I expected after spending $17,000 on lipo + tummy tuck. Do I need to seek a second opinion?

Doctor Answers 7

You will be fine

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I am sorry that you have developed infection and open wound after your tummy tuck. This is not normal but it does happen and requires local wound care. This will take few months to close and wound vac would help. Please continue to see your surgeon and follow his instructions. 

New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 reviews

Infection Normal?

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I'm sorry this happened to you.  No, this isn't "normal" (I would say "normal" is a complication-free recovery), but an infection with tissue loss can occur after surgery even in the best of hands.  The important thing is that your doctor is treating the infection properly and gets you healed with good wound care.  I would continue to see your surgeon regularly and follow their recommendations.  When you are fully healed, then the conversation can be shifted to what options you have to improve the appearance at the appropriate time.  You are always able to seek a second opinion, but continuing with your own surgeon is usually the best course of action.


Dr. Dan Krochmal

MAE Plastic Surgery

Northbrook, IL

Daniel Krochmal, MD
Chicago General Surgeon

Tummy tuck prolblem

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This is a  unusual complication after a tummy tuck and should occur less than 1% of the time.   In  smokers or patients with other blood flow issues like diabetes this is much more common.  The good news is that long term (2-6 months) these wounds usually heal nicely.  If you chose an experienced board certified plastic surgeon they should be able to handle this and they are very interested in giving you the best result possible.   If you don't have confidence in your current surgeon  then get a second opinion.  Good luck.

William Koenig, MD
Rochester Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 71 reviews

Infection at 4 Weeks 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.

While there is always potential for infection, regular follow-up appointments should be included in the cost of your surgery and any infections that have occurred should be treated. It would be best to visit your surgeon again and make sure that the issue is cared for. Good luck.

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

Local wound care

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I am sorry you had this issue develop. Often with local wound care the wound closes down. Yes, a suction device called a VAC may be reasonable to help close this quicker.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

TT infection

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Thank you for your question. I am sorry about the complications. It is not common but it can happen. Look like your PS is treating properly. Most of the time they heal well. Please follow instructions from your PS.

1 month post op, some advices:

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Thanks for the question. I recommend you to talk with your plastic surgeon and follow his advices.

Kind regards 

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 366 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.