Is a Hot, Swollen Tummy and Fever Normal 2wks Post Full Tummy Tuck?

I am 2 wks post full tummy tuck and developed a fever. Have now been on atibiotics for 2 days. Today my tummy is hot and very swollen which it has not been previously. Is this normal?

Doctor Answers 10

You need to be seen NOW

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A red, swollen, painful abdomen with a fever that has not responded to oral antibiotics two weeks after a TT is not merely a skin infection.  You may have an abscess that needs to be drained.  Dont'd delay.  Call your PS and ask him/her where he/she would like to meet you: his office or the emergency room.  Either way see someone in the next few hours,

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Fevers, and signs of infection, should see your surgeon immediately.

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This is not normal, and you should definitely see your surgeon immediately.  You may need surgical intervention.
Best wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Tummy Tuck

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A fever is not normal 2 weeks after a TT.  Immediately post op, first 24-48 hours, there is a small increase in temperature, which falls to normal after the initial shock of surgery.  Two weeks later, I would be suspicious and assume you had an infection until proven otherwise.  A blood count (CBC) and perhaps a few other tests would shed light on the matter.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

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Infection after tummy tuck

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Swelling, local warmth, and fever are all consistent with an infection.  If you are on oral antibiotics and things are getting worse, it is possible that the bacteria causing your infection are not sensitive to the antibiotic you are taking.  If your infection is severe enough, you may need to be on IV antibiotics and perhaps even in the hospital.  A severe infection can be life-threatening.  If there is an abcess (pus collection), you will need to have surgery to drain this.  It is important that your surgeon know that your condition is getting worse despite the antibiotics, so you should not delay in contacting your doctor.

A Hot, Swollen Tummy and Fever are NOT Normal 2wks Post Full Tummy Tuck

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While fever after surgery is never normal it MAY be due to incomplete full breathing in the very early post-surgical period. However, new onset of fever more than a few days after the surgery should prompt your surgeon to look for a potential cause
- ? urinary tract infection
- ? infection of one of the arm veins caused by the IV
- ? wound infection

There is NO reason for you to be on antibiotics this far out after surgery. It sounds like you have a very serious infection under the tummy tuck skin. You need to go to the ER of the facility where your operation was done and hopefully where your insurance allows you to go. You will need to be admitted for serious intravenous antibiotics therapy and may well need to go back to the OR for drainage of an abscess if it cannot be done by Radiology.

Do NOT delay taking care of this. It could be fatal.

Dr. Peter A. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Is a Hot, Swollen Tummy and Fever Normal 2wks Post Full Tummy Tuck?

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You have one of the few EMERGENCY situations in plastic surgery. GO immediately to the emergency room and call your PS. PLEASE

Fever after tummy tuck

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I would see your doctor very soon.  It sounds like an infection.  Your doctor should order some labs to determine how high your white blood cell count is (if high, this indicates a possible infection).  Your doctor will be able to tell whether you have a more superficial infection (just on or around the skin) or a deeper infection such as an abscess. A fluid collection (or seroma) that accumulates after the drains are removed can become secondarily infected.  An ultra sound or CT scan can help diagnose this.  Good luck! Dr. McCormack

Infection after a tummy tuck

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A hot swollen tummy and a fever are not normal after a tummy tuck (or any other surgery for that matter). This is likely to be from a wound infection, possibly an infected haematoma (collection of blood clots from the surgery). If antibiotic does not help promptly, you may need a drainage/washout. Please contact your surgeon immediately.

Anindya Lahiri, FRCS (Plast)
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon

Swollen with fever

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No,  this is not normal but can happen. The things that come to mind are deep infection(abscess), when someone mentions swelling with fever.  Reddness plus  not feeling right are common complaints that I have encountered. Antibiotics will treat superficial skin infection but  will not treat an infected deep space.  This usually needs a surgical procedure to remove any infected fluid and place  a  drain .  I would routinely like to have Blood work  in the workup also .  I would communicate well with your doctor and any question or concern go to the hospital.

Good Luck.

Paul Albear, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon

Not Normal

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New onset swelling and fever 2 weeks post TT is not normal and may indicate a deep infection. Go to see you doctor or the ER ASAP.

Brian Klink, MD
Vacaville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 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.