Had a tummy tuck about 18 months ago, about four days experiencing a smelly discharge. What can I do?

Doctor Answers 7

Malodorous discharge post-abdominoplasty

It is difficult to determine the cause without further information.  It is possible you developed a cyst along the previous incision - which may result in malodorous drainage - or possibly a small region of fat necrosis which has drained.  At 18 months post-operatively, an infection would be quite uncommon.  It's also possible that this issue is not related to your previous surgery.

I recommend observing for signs of infection (redness, pain, any systemic signs including fever) and seeking medical attention on an urgent basis.

Best, Stephanie Power MD, FRCSC

Drainage after surgery should be examined

Please contact your plastic surgeon.  I would want to know immediately if this is happening in my patient so that we can address it ASAP.

Best of luck.

Dischage post tummy tuck

Not knowing where the discharge is I wpould assume you may have a cyst or spitting of some sutures which can occur.Always go back to your original plastic surgeon.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Drainage long after a tummy tuck.

The first thing you should do is schedule an appointment with your plastic surgeon. Drainage at this point in time is certainly not normal, although it is impossible to tell you how concerning it may be over the internet. You plastic surgeon will be able to diagnose the reason with an in person examination.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

What can I do?

I would schedule a follow up appointment with your plastic surgeon as he knows the details of your surgery and recovery so far. This far out an infection linked to the surgery would be unusual. Hope this helps. Dean Vistnes. 

M. Dean Vistnes, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Had a tummy tuck about 18 months ago, about four days experiencing a smelly discharge. What can I do?

First call your surgeon's office to be seen sooner than later. If that not an option than seek care at Urgent Care facility. Plus you DID NOT specify the location of the "smelly discharge"??? Incision/scar or drain site, or bb???

Had a tummy tuck about 18 months ago, about four days experiencing a smelly discharge. What can I do?

It sounds like you may have developed a late infection, probably related to permanent sutures that were used to tighten the abdominal wall. Without knowing the details of your surgery it is impossible to be sure, so I would recommend seeing your surgeon as soon as possible for an examination. If your surgeon can't see you right away and you are experiencing fever, chills, nausea or vomiting then I would recommend going to an emergency room asap to see if you need to be started on antibiotics. Best of luck!

Mathew A. Plant, MD, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

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