What is the Best Way to Manage an Infected Abdominolasty Wound Still Draining Pus?

Tummy tuck 2 weeks ago; MD out of town POD10 +, so Med Asst ("MA") tx'd me; POD#2: Drain pulled; POD#11: Temp 100.5-102, abd hard; MA suggests temp viral, try Dulcolax; POD#12: MA removes rest of staples and open wound to drain seroma-lots fluid; shortly drainage goes from fluid to yellow/brown pus; POD#13: no return call from MA; ER admits for sepsis; gm stain: gm + cocci; 3rd spacing;POD#15: Surgeon says seroma; Int Med rx's ABX

Doctor Answers 6

What is the Best Way to Manage an Infected Abdominolasty Wound Still Draining Pus?

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I am sorry to hear about the complication you have experienced.  In my opinion, the most important “factor” involved  with successful treatment of the complication will be close follow-up with your plastic surgeon. Generally speaking, once an area of “infection” has been drained, and patients are treated with appropriate antibiotics,  they feel much better quickly. The open wound  should go on to heal over the course of the next several weeks,  hopefully without long-term sequelae. Concentrate on a well-balanced ( good protein source) diet.  Best wishes.

Infected Abdominolasty Wound

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Sorry to hear of your situation. Fortunately, your condition is quite uncommon (as is the use of staples to close a Tummy Tuck incision). The only solution for curing an abscess is complete drainage allowing the infected fluid to be removed completely and open packing allowing the wound to heal from floor to ceiling. Attempts to heal abscesses with antibiotics only usually fail.

Hope everything is healed well by now.

Peter A Aldea, MD

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Infection After Tummy Tuck

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An infection after a tummy tuck is uncommon and one that leads to sepsis is fairly rare. The fact that is wound is draining is a good thing but at this point you need to have a plastic surgeon involved to be sure that there are no collections of pus that have not yet drained, which probably means a trip back to the operating room. After that frequent dressing changes will help the wound to close on its' own but that process may be a slow one that takes several weeks. Any unsatisfactory scars can be corrected several months later.

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Tummy tuck infection requires expert attention

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Infection after tummy tuck is an uncommon though real risk, and often is not seen until the second week after the procedure. Care after cosmetic surgery requires expert care by a surgeon capable of treating the wound effectively. As your surgeon seems to have been out of the picture, the trip to the ER was your best solution with assignment to a team able to help you.

Best of luck,


Infected abdominoplasty

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Wow! It wounds to me likeyou need to have the wound thoroughly washed out in the operating room followed by some good wound care such as wet to dry dressings or maybe a VAC dressing.  The antibiotics are helpful but they can only do so much without irrigating out the pus and cleaning up the wound.  I am assuming your surgeon is involved with your case at this point? Sepsis is pretty serious- It probably started out as a seroma which then became secondarily infected.  Good luck. 

Infected abdominoplasty wound needs to be surgically drained

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If you have an infected abdominoplasty wound that is draining pus, I would recommend surgical drainage of the wound to make sure all the pus is adequately drained.  I would then pack the wound open and let it granulate in.  IV or oral antibiotics will be needed.  Followup with your surgeon is important.

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