Is Foul Smelling Discharge Normal After Tummy Tuck?

Part of my incision has separated and has a cream colored foul smelling discharge. My plastic surgeon says it is not infected and will heal over time. I am worried it looks disgusting!

Doctor Answers 2

I am afraid it sounds like an infection.

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You probably have an infection, or some necrotic tissue. You certainly need attention.

1) The wound should be cultured to see what bacteria are growing.

2) You should be on broad spectrum antibiotics by mouth until the results of the culture are known.

3) You need wound care depending on what it looks like: antibiotic cream, or debridment, or irrigation.

4) You might need a sonogram of your abdomen to make sure there are no collections of fluid or pus.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Bad smelling drainage after tummy tuck

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Foul smelling discharge is not typical, but may or may not be concerning with wound healing complications after tummy tuck. Creamy, foul smelling drainage some times is pus, which can be a sign of infection. It can also be, however, a blood collection which has liquefied and is now spontaneously draining or can be normal drainage from a healing wound.

Bottom line: continue close follow-up with your plastic surgeon. Ultimately, he or she will be the best judge of whether or not your drainage is concerning.

Best of luck!

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.