Debridement of Necrosis after tummy tuck FREAKING ME OUT!!!! warning!!! Graphic pictures! (photo)

Well, my ps finally did something. I think this is called debridement. I dont think an hour has passed where I dont think of this. Im so scared. He wants me to stuff it with dry gauze. He said its ok for me to go back to work, exersize and go on with my life as usual. Only keep a pad on there and change dressings once a day after shower with antibacterial soap. No heavy liftling and no swimming. And visit him once a week. Can someone please say anything of knowledge or support on this matter. :(

Doctor Answers 7

Tissue necrosis and debridement of wounds are definitely FREAKY for those who don't see it everyday!

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The best thing I can do is reassure you that with proper care and attention, this WILL heal.  It is definitely freaky to go into a tummy tuck expecting this beautiful body and to come away a couple of weeks later with a HOLE IN YOUR BODY!  This is something that happens when tissues run out of blood supply, and unfortunately, with tummy tucks, this can happen.  The good news is that they will eventually heal, and then, if you don't have the beautiful result that you want at that point, we can usually revise things and recover the beautiful result from there.  It may mean an extra step or two we weren't expecting at the beginning, but the bottom line is that we can still achieve the beautiful result.  There are as many ways of dressing and managing these wounds as there are surgeons doing tummy tucks, and it sounds to me as though the advice that your surgeon has given you and the things you are doing are all appropriate and will lead to that recovery of the result I'm talking about.  The main thing is that you have to stay with the program, don't get discouraged or give up, keep seeing your surgeon weekly as he advises (that's a good surgeon by the way!), and "this too shall pass."  The human body has amazing healing properties, and a good surgeon will know how to work that.  You just need a little faith and patience at this point, and you'll be just fine.  Good luck.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Debridemnt of tissue necrosis after tummy tuck

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You definitely have a problem.  It will not closed by packing and waiting for several months.  The depth of the hole indicates there is fat necrosis as well as poor skin circulation.  For the sake of all concerned, I would recommend excision of the open area, debridement of dead fat, and secondary closure by your surgeon.  This is the fastest and best way to get this healed with a reasonable scar in a short period of time.

Paul Silverstein, MD (retired)
Oklahoma City Plastic Surgeon

Necrosis and healing

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Necrosis is simply tissue which has lost its blood supply. This tissue should be removed (debridement). The remaining healthy tissue will grow scar tissue to fill the area. The packing is used to wick away fluid, keep the healthy tissue moist, and encourage healing. This entire process can take many weeks, and sometimes months, to complete, but it should heal. Things that patients can do is to keep the area clean, take Vitamin C and Zinc supplementation, and eat plenty of protein. 

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Debridement after a tummy tuck

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This sort of thing is common after a tummy tuck, but will most likely heal in well.  However, it might take several months to fully heal.

Debridement of Necrosis after tummy tuck

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All the appropriate steps are being taken.  This is a known complication of TT.  The good news is that this will heal nicely.  Make sure you are not smoking and are not around smokers.  Take vitamins and eat a healthy balanced diet to optimize your healing. 

Fat Necrosis and Debridement after Abdominoplasty

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No one wants to have a complication and have wound healing problems, but unfortunately, they do occur. The risk for this is also higher in smokers.
Treatment of this ultimately depends on the amount of fat necrosis that you have under the skin. If it is confined to a small area, debriding the dead fat and allowing the wound to heal in on its own is reasonable. This can take from a few weeks to a couple of months. If there is a large amount of fat necrosis under the skin, it is better to surgically debride all of it and reclose the wound. If you are early after surgery, your surgeon will treat it conservatively to determine the extent of fat necrosis and how much might heal on its own.
I realize that this is scary to you, but long term, you should end up with a nice result. Often a scar revision can be done 3-6 months after the wound has closed if needed.

Debridement of Necrosis after tummy tuck FREAKING ME OUT!!!! warning!!! Graphic pictures! c

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Sorry for the postoperative necrosis. But sounds as if you are being treated correctly. I offer additional infusion therapies to the area with PRP + AFSC mix. 

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.