5 days post Tummy Tuck, red tummy? Feel drainage tubes through skin? (Photos)

I'm 5 days post op from TT & BA. I just took a shower and my tummy appears very red. Is that a sign of infection? No fever. See photos. I have not really cleaned the incision areas but just put Neosporin as directed. Post op appt is tomorrow. Also it looked like small knots under my skin so I felt them and the felt like the drainage tube. I could pretty much follow it up over and around my belly button. Should I be able to feel that? Could it be something else? I'm 5'5.5" and 120lbs. Thank you!

Doctor Answers 7

5 days post Tummy Tuck

Dear FixmyDRMama,

You are thin woman, and it may be possible you are feeling the tubes. As far as the redness goes, the warmth of the shower could do this or infection. Be sure you keep your appointment and confer with your operating surgeon.

Robert D. Wilcox, MD

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Five days post tummy tuck...........

it is not clear from your post if your drains have been removed?in any event redness could be a sign of infection. Consult with your plastic surgeon

Patrick Briggs, FRCSI (Plast)
Perth Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

5 days post Tummy Tuck, red tummy? Feel drainage tubes through skin?

It's normal to feel drain tubes, especially if you are thin and the drains are somewhat superficial. Make sure you point this out to your operating surgeon when you go in for your post op appt. Best of luck!

Farah Naz Khan, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 97 reviews

Normal recovery

It is not uncommon to be able to feel the drain tubes under the skin in someone who is as thin as you are.  The heat from the shower can make the skin red.

Gary Lawton, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 135 reviews

Wait for your appointment

your scar looks normal and as you describe it doesnt sound like an infection, you should wait to go to your doctor tomorrow. Good luck!

Australia Fragoso-Baez, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 425 reviews

5 days post Tummy Tuck, red tummy? Feel drainage tubes through skin?

At 5 days you can most likely shower and continue appying the ointment. The photo does not demonstrate an infection. Please follow up with your doctor as these issues require the attention of a plastic surgeon.

Ron Hazani, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills General Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 288 reviews

5 days

I see nothing alarming in the posted photos,  SInce you are rather slender, it is not a surprise that you can feel the course of the drain tubes. 

Looks like a nice contour result.  All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 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.