Incision Opening After Tummy Tuck? (photo)

I had a tummy tuck 4 weeks ago and every week it has opened and my PS has sutured it back together using local anesthetic. Last week he closed it under general anesthetic and it has opened up again. I am so fed up with this happening. There is no infection and I do not smoke and am a healthy weight and eat well. Please Help.

Doctor Answers 15

Incision Opening After Tummy Tuck

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Sorry to read about the troubled post op course you are enduring.At this stage the best approach will be to remove all the visible sutures, trim all the non-viable tissue (dead fat) and begin good dressing care--there are many satisfactory regimens--and allow this to heal from the bottom up, and it will. Expect about a month, and then to have a red form scar that will soften and lighten over the course of a year. It may be that once this is healed, if the scar is less than ideal a touch up procedure will be in order.

Thank you for your question and for the photo posted. All the best. 

Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Do Not Close An Open Incision

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   The tummy tuck incision should not be closed again and any nonviable tissue should be removed.  The area should be monitored for infection, and local dressing changes should be instituted. 

Debridement and local wound care

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You have fat necrosis and the wound opening is due to the poor circulation or too much tension. The best treatment is local debridement and application of Vac. You will heal fine ,but it will take time (4-6 weeks). The traditional treatment is wet to dry but Vac treatment works faster.

Incision Opening After Tummy Tuck?

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Must rule out a foreign body reaction from a deep muscle suture. Otherwise try silver nitrate and red light laser therapy. 


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I would advise you to have some extra patience.I understand this is easy for me to say and much harder for you to do. This will heal

Norman Bakshandeh, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon

Incision after Tummy Tuck

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It will all heal. It is going to take time!

The other answers have been accurate. Please be patient. This does happen.

This is easy to say and horrible to have to go thru this! I'm sorry.

After it heals it will look surprisingly good. Sometimes a minor revision will be necessary to improve the scar.

Good Luck, it will be fine!

Dr. Chris Saunders

Wound opening after tummy tuck

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Thanks for your question and I'm sorry you're having issues.


It looks like there is some loss of tissue around the open wound which could be the result of many things.  Since you have failed attempted reclosure the safest and best course of action is likely packing the wound and allowing things to heal by secondary intention.


This will be a longer process unfortunately, probably requiring 3-4 weeks of dressing changes.  It may also result in a more prominent scar which can be revised in the future.


I hope this helps.

Recurrent Suture Line Openings In TT After Multiple Revisions

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As you can see, your Real Self team of expert plastic surgeons all agree that it is time to stop attempting to close TT suture line, pack the wound, dressing changes, and allow it to heal by itself (secondary closure). 

We as plastic surgeons want our patients to be happy and have every surgery work out perfectly.  At times, there are complications which just must be allowed to heal on their own.  This is one of those times.  If you and your plastic surgeon continue attempting wound closure, it will lead to an infection which will be much more difficult to treat.  Standard wound healing techniques will allow this wound to close in weeks to perhaps months, but the ultimate result should be really favorable.   Consider hyperbaric oxygen as a means of getting the wound to heal faster, and therefore less chance of infection.

Your picture indicates to me that more of the wound will open before healing.  Once you get good granulation tissue, your wound will start to contract no matter how wide it appears.  Things will get better.

Better Part of Valor is To Lets Things Settle Down

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Opening of the incision above the pubic region after a tummy tuck has several causes.  The most common is smoking before and immediately after surgery.  Patients who have scars on the abdomen like a long gallbladder surgery scar or horizontal appendectomy scar can have compromised blood supply to the skin in that region.  Tension at the incision closure site can also cause the wound to separate and fat under the skin to die.  Vasculitis with microvascular problems is a much less common cause. The photo shared has evidence of fat and skin necrosis. Given that you have had several attempts at closure without success, I would recommend cleaning up the wound with debridement, performing dressing changes or using a wound vac to accellerate healing.  Once the wound is healed completely, scar revision can be performed in a delayed fashion.  This delay allows the swelling of the tissues to resolve and for the skin of the abdomen to relax further.  Good luck with your recovery.

Tummy tuck may be to tight

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It sounds like there is to much tension on the incision line. It will close eventually by secondary intent. I would not exercise or put more tension. You need to work with your plastic surgeon

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.