Incision is Splitting in Center and Has a Yellow Pus Coming out - is This Normal?

I am 3 weeks post tummy tuck and my incision steri strips fell off in the center. The incision is splitting about a quarter of an inch open in the center and there is yellow pus oozing from the center. Is this normal? Will it close back up or do I need it re-sutured?

Doctor Answers 17

Wound opening s/p tummy tuck

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Although not normal, this is not all that rare. It could be due to a small area where the blood supply to the skin was not sufficient and the area of skin died (necrosis).  It can also occur when a dissolvable suture gets 'spit" out to the surface rather than dissolving and you can get a small pus collection around it ("suture abcess").  Either way, your surgeon should see you and assess this. Usually these areas are treated with local wound care and allowed to heal in spontaneously.  Signs of infection (such as surrounding cellulitis or redness) are indications for treatment with antibiotics.

Tummy Tuck Incision Splitting in Center 3 weeks after surgery and Pus Coming out is NOT Normal

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Wound separation is NOT part of normal healing but is not a rare event. Wound separation may be superficial, intermediate or deep. It may be related to death of the skin and/or  to death of the underlying fat associated with a reduction of blood supply (smokers, diabetics, aggressive liposuction etc). It may be associated with the body pushing our a stitch or two or in may be related to spontaneous drainage of a fluid collection (seroma).

The majority of such cases resolve with proper management and may not require surgery. You should consult your surgeon.

Good Luck.

Dr. Peter A. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Contact Your PS and Develop A Plan To Optimize Healing

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It’s not unusual for patients to have areas of superficial wound breakdown following abdominoplasty surgery. These problems occur for a variety of reasons including infection, poor blood supply and tension on the closure.
It’s not unusual for areas of separation to be covered with scabs and crusting known as eschar.It’s normal for these scabs to slowly lift off the wound and reveal a layer of granulation tissue.Once this has occurred, new skin grows over the surface and the wound edges pull themselves together.
In the vast majority of cases, these wounds heal nicely, but rarely scar revision may be necessary.During the healing process, it’s important to perform dressing changes.This optimizes wound healing and minimizes the potential for infection.
It’s important to maintain close contact with your plastic surgeon.Your surgeon should be able to monitor your progress and take appropriate steps to optimize your wound healing.

Have this seen by your surgeon

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Some oozing can occur at this time if the incision hasn’t closed properly, but it is not routine and should be checked out to make sure it’s not indication of a bigger problem. At this time, infection is a primary concern so please make sure to follow proper wound care practices until you can see your surgeon (which you should do as soon as you can).

Delayed wound healing after tummy tuck surgery

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Occasionally after tummy tuck surgery there may be areas of healing delay due to decreased blood supply to the affected area. The central part of the incision above the pubic area is one of these areas where this can occur. Usually these areas are small and with conservative treatment and dressing changes they will heal. I encourage you to see your plastic surgeon to set up a method of care for this problem.

Richard Linderman, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon

See your surgeon ASAP

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Wound complications are beyond online "general advice" boundaries. Get to your surgeon's office ASAP for proper care.


Best Regards,


John Di Saia MD

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

Superficial openings post-tummy tuck

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I would consult your surgeon to rule out any infections. Signs of infection may include fever, chills, abnormal swelling, or redness around the incision. It is important that you follow all post-op instructions to avoid any complications. It is common for patients to experience superficial openings, which will heal over time. It is difficult to determine whether you would need re-suturing without current photos. Often these openings will heal with dressing changes. Scar revision may be helpful in the future to improve tge appearance of the scar.

On this site, I do my best to give advice without a physical examination but I want you to know that a physical examination by a board certified physician is always the best way to get the most accurate information.

Wound separation after tummy tuck

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Wound separation after a tummy tuck, while not an unusual occurrence, is usually limited and will heal with some local wound care. Nevertheless you should see your plastic surgeon for advice on how to care for the open wound. It is rare that we need to do either a re-closure or a scar revision for these minor setbacks, the abdominal incision usually heals wonderfully, given enough time. You should keep lines of communication open with your surgeon and visit him or her frequently until the open area has healed. Good luck

Johan E. Brahme, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Wound separation after a tummy tuck

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Hello and thank you for the question.

You may be experiencing a small dehiscense along the midline of your incision.  This occurence is not completely uncommon, but with proper care should heal in due time. I recommend you follow up with your physician for an evaluation and managment plan.

Best of luck,

Glenn Vallecillos, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Glenn Vallecillos, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Common Complication of Tummy Tuck

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This is very common.  That area has the most tension and sometimes spreads or opens.  sometimes a suture will "spit" causing a opening.  This will heal just fine.  Your doctor should be aware.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 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.