Suture Abcess Healing After Tummy Tuck?

5 weeks after tummy tuck I have a "stitch abcess" the hole is 2 inches long by 1/2 inch wide and about 3/4 inch deep. Dr assures me this is not unusual. I am packing with gauze twice a day. I have experience fat necrosis. The necrotic tissue is almost all gone and now I am seeing healthly red tissue.

My doctor said the stitch abcess will heal on it's own. I love my Dr., but can this really heal on its own?

Doctor Answers 7

"Patient Heal Thy Self"

Regardless of the cause, you have a wound that sounds like it is progressing in the usual manner. If you are healthy and care for the wound as your surgeon has recommended then this wound will heal in completely over time. Continue to see your surgeon as he/she directs so that the progress can be monitored.

Wound problems after a tummy tuck

what you are describing can occur, more so in patients with very thick layers of fat below the skin and in people that are diabetic or smokers. Stitch abscesses can occur but look worse when accompanied with fat necrosis. Having said all of that, I think you will be surprised how well the human body can heal itself after such things. There is a small chance you might need a small scar revision at a later date, but many times, it heals very well without more surgery.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Given the present treatment plan your wound will spontaneously close

The dimensions of the defect you are describing can seem quite large to you as a lay person. Logically, you are skeptical that the wound will spontaneously heal as your surgeon is claiming. But in fact it will heal and close following the present treatment plan.  From your description of the wounds' present status I would estimate the process will take 2 to 3 weeks to do so. Keep the faith in your surgeon.

David A. Ross, MD (retired)
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Open wound after tummy tuck is not stitch abscess.


It sounds like the blood supply at the edge of your tummy tuck was not sufficient, and so a strip of skin died. It happens, and it will heal. You will need a scar revision in several months.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews


You will heal finwe and if not healed well ,you can have revision later. Your doctor is right also do not worry, This is  a common problem.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 122 reviews

Wound Separation and Stitch Abcess after a Tummy Tuck

Depending on multiple factors such as obesity, tightness of the closure, reduction and or damage to the blood supply in the lower tummy skin, exposure to smoke and other wound healing risk factors, the tummy tuck wound may separate in some patients. Whenever the flow of blood with oxygen drops below the basic needs of tissues to stay alive, the tissue will gradually die.

Such separations are the body's way to expel a stitch that may have become infected, to allow unwanted fluid to drain or to allow dead tissue to exit.

Either way, after the offending source is removed, if there is adequate blood supply in the area, nor foreign bodies (IE lint, or other dead tissue etc) and the nutrition is adequate to support healing, these wounds nearly always heal.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Stitch abscess

Yes, if you are healthy this will heal. That red, healthy tissue is an excellent sign. Every surgery has small complications which can be annoying, but you're well on your way to recovery. Trust your surgeon, it sounds like everything is being done correctly. Good luck, /nsn.

Nina S. Naidu, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 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.