Is this normal healing? 27 days post tummy tuck. (Photo)

I am 27 days post tummy tuck. Here is a photo of my incision. I'm concerned about the pale yellow places. Those spots were originally more like scabs. Now they look like pus, but are firm and do not wipe off. I've been usng silvadene on the areas twice a day since my one week post op appointment with ps. At 3 weeks, my ps was unconcerned about the areas and just said to continue with the silvadene dressings. At that time the areas were still drier looking - like scabs. No pain or fever.

Doctor Answers 9

Incision issues after a tummy tuck

Small areas of wound separation and tissue necrosis can be fairly common after a tummy tuck.  They occur most often in the middle of the incision like in your case. Most heal well with local care, as you have been doing. They often look worse before they shrink in size, dry up, scab over and close completely. Patients are usually surprised how normal scars look after six months. Some of these healed wounds will need a scar revision, but many do not.

The pictures do not look ominous and your story is not worrisome either. Infection does not appear to be an issue at this time. Keep in close contact with your surgeon and follow the wound care instructions.  Best of luck.

Albuquerque Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

Is this normal healing? 27 days post tummy tuck.

Hello!  Thank you for your question and photos!   It does not appear like an infection at this time, however, you do have areas of full-thickness skin (and possibly fat, necrosis.  This has occurred at the most likely area, at the midline and the convergence of the vertical with the horizontal incisions, which has the most tension and poorest blood supply. 

Follow-up closely with your surgeon for further wound care instructions and the possible need for debridement of the area. This I'll usually heal without issues and still obtain an excellent appearance of the site.  Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Delayed healing with tummy tucks

are very common where you are experiencing your issues.  It is not pus but instead dead tissue.  The yellow will slough (or you can have your surgeon expedite the process by debriding it in the office) and then your body will starting healing the area.  These problems usually have happy endings with reasonable scarring, certainly better than you would have anticipated.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Is this normal healing?

It looks like you are having some healing problems at the location with the worst blood supply. This is not uncommon. I suggest you follow the recommendations of your plastic surgeon for wound care. There is always the possibility that further surgery is necessary. However, this is likely to heal with good local care.

Eric Desman, MD
Alexandria Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Tummy tuck healing issue

No your healing is not "normal" but full thickness tissue necrosis is a known and real complication to this procedure. Fortunately, the area involved appears small.  I would recommend debridement of the yellow necrotic tissue and a wound care regimen that would speed up healing and minimize scarring.  You still may need a modest revision if the resultant scar is less than optimal.

Marc Polecritti, DO
Spring Hill Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

TT complication

Thank you for the photos and you appear to have areas of necrosis along your suture line with the greatest tension and least blood supply.  With time and appropriate wound care by your surgeon these will heal

Dr Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Is this normal healing? 27 days post tummy tuck.

Thank you for your question.  The healing in the photograph you show is not normal healing.  There has been some skin loss in the midportion of your incision.  However with proper wound care and management this should heal.  The important thing is for your plastic surgeon to debride or remove areas of dead tissue and use appropriate dressings to allow healing to occur.  Silvadene is a good choice but what you want to see his red healthy bleeding tissue where you now see white tissue. Ask your plastic surgeon if wet-to-dry saline dressings will help or whether local debridement as needed.

Tummy Tuck Wound Healing Problem

The area where you notice raw tissue is can have trouble healing in the presence of tension and also where two incisions intersect, such as where a vertical incision meets a horizontal incision.

The good news is that the body has an amazing ability to heal with proper wound care with a scar that can eventually become difficult to detect. Perhaps that is why your plastic surgeon may seem unconcerned, since he/she is confident your wound will heal.

Express your concerns so that your plastic surgeon understands your worries and can spend more time with you discussing what to expect.

Once you're over this discouraging hump, look at your before-and-after photos
so you can remember what you used to look like and how far you've come. (See link below.)

Heather J. Furnas, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews


This isn't normal healing, but things look like they are getting better.  You have some necrosis of the skin, which can happen after a TT.  Gradually, this will form what looks like a scab and lift off.  You may need a small scar revision in the future.  Please continue to see your surgeon who can make sure things continue to heal.  Best wishes for your recovery!

Shim Ching, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 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.