How Long Will my Tummy Tuck Incision Take to Close?

This is a continuation from my previous posting on asking questions in regards to my open incision. Now i have a picture to long will this take to close? The lower part under my belly button is becoming less hard now, drainage is becoming a little less...and as u can see there are bumps in the wound that has formed..does that mean its starting to close? will the wound just come smaller like close from the top to bottom? what are the signs for me to look out for as the healing starts?

Doctor Answers 7

How long will my tummy tuck incision take to close?

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You have suffered some delayed healing, either from dehiscence or skin necrosis.  In any event, these will eventually heal in on their own with proper wound care.  The larger the wound, the longer it takes.  Sometimes it seems like these are not making any progress, week after week, and then all of a suddent the healing process just seems to accelerate.  Not to worry, it will evenutally heal up and be a closed, healed incision.  The scar may be somewhat wider in this area, and either will be satisfactory to you or once the skin relaxes a bit over a year or longer it may be revised in a relatively minor procedure to improve the scar.  Again, try to be patient and things will look much, much better over a period of several weeks to a couple of months.

Wound Breakdown Following Tummy Tuck

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Wound breakdown can be seen following abdominoplasty surgery and occurs for a variety of reasons.It’s often related to poor blood supply to the skin flaps, excess tension on the wound closure, fluid collections, primary infections and patient non-compliance.Each of these factors can significantly increase the potential for this type of problem.
This type of separation is frequently seen in cigarette smokers.The nicotine in cigarette smoke causes vasoconstriction in the small blood vessels that supply the skin flaps.For this reason, we request that patients stop smoking six weeks prior to surgery.
Once this type of problem has developed aggressive local wound care is indicated.This may require surgical debridement and dressing changes.In some cases, a VAC suction system may be indicated as well.If infection is present, antibiotics may also be necessary.
With appropriate local wound care, this type of wound should heal without difficulty.Initially granulation tissue will grow in the base of the wound.Eventually the skin will grow over the top of the granulation tissue in an inward direction as the wound margins pull themselves together.Unfortunately, this might take several months to occur and a touch up scar revision may be necessary as well.
It’s important that you maintain close contact with your plastic surgeon.Your plastic surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that addresses your concerns.

Dehiscence after tummy tuck

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If you allow this to close on its own, also known as secondary intention healing, this could take several months.  What wound care are you doing?  Sometimes biting the bullet and returning to the OR to revise the incision and close again would result in the fastest resolution.  Discuss this option with your plastic surgeon.  Best wishes!

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Wound issues

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With delayed healing of the lower abdominal incision, the key is to keep it clean and dress it appropriately.  Follwo your surgeons instructions.  It may take several weeks to heal.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Wound healing after wound separation

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From the photo you posted, it looks like there is healing taking place. The pink tissue is healthy tissue growing in the wound, and you might be surprised at how quickly it fills in. It has to fill in from the inside to the outside. A few more weeks should do it for you. The scar will be wider and take longer to soften. 

Victor Au, MD (retired)
Chapel Hill Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tuck and Wound Healing Problem

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

The  complication you are experiencing can occur after tummy tuck surgery. If seems that your physician Is treating it appropriately. Generally, I suggest conservative management allowing the  on healthy tissues to “declare  itself”. This will minimize removal/debridement of healthy tissue.

It may require several weeks more to heal completely-  patience  is critical. If the area heals with a wider scar scar revision surgery may be beneficial down the line.

I hope this helps.

Wound infection takes time to heal

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How long it takes for a postop wound infection from tummy tuck surgery to completely heal depends on the size and the condition of the patient.  A healthy patient who does not smoke will heal faster than others.  As long as the wound is kept clean, spontaneous healing will occur from the inside out.  Of course, the larger the wound, the longer, generally, it will take to heal.  Roughly, a 5 cm by 3 cm open wound of the lower abdomen should heal within three to four weeks if taken care of properly.

James Tang, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
3.4 out of 5 stars 18 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.