I am 8 months post op TT with lipo, I had multiple suture abscess from dissolving sutures. At 7 month I developed an abscess and my surgeon retrieved some of the permanent black suture which seems to be the problem, 2 weeks later another large abscess to the right of the frist one. The left side of my stomach is great, no problems since day 1. On the right side the scar is raised, purple and sensitive. Should I anticipate more abscess to come? Anything I can do to prevent it?
I Am 8 Months Post Op TT with Lipo, I've Had Multiple Abscess from Sutures.
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Doctor Answers 5
Unfortunately, suture abscesses are unpredictable and can occur even with absorbable sutures. If a suture is infected, the treatment is to remove the suture. Many surgeons use these permanent sutures in a tummy tuck deep in the tissue to provide the strength of the closure. By 8 months, these sutures are no longer providing strength and removing them is unlikely to have any effect on your results. The scars after an infected suture removal are formed by allowing the body to heal over time. This can lead to red or purple scars which are sensitive. Over time, these scars fade and the sensitivity usually goes away. If necessary, a scar revision can be performed at a later date if the scar is unacceptable.
Tummy Tuck Suture Problem
Unfortunately, suture, when it gets infected, has to be removed. Bacteria will sit on the suture making it act similar to a sliver. The good news is that when all of the contaminated suture finally works its way out then usually all of your scars will start to mature and fade. The final result should look good; you just have to be patient. Keep working closely with your doctor and I think you will be very happy in the end.
Multiple Abscess from Sutures.
Unfortunately it is possible for you to expect further issues with your sutures. During closure of any wounds, plastic surgeons are taught to place both deep sutures in the dermis(skin) and superficial sutures in the dermis(Skin). The strenght of the closure is really dependent on the sutures in the deeper dermal layer. It is rare for a situation to develop 7 months post-operatively from sutures that are absorbable. Most absorbable sutures are reabsorbed by 4 months time. However, one can have reactions that lead to areas of non-healing or nonabsorption(granulomas) that may become infected. The areas of purple and sensitivity might be areas of sutures that are in this non-healing process. If there is an infectious process antibiotics might help, unfortunately without a physical exam it is difficult to say. As always I would recommend that you see your plastic surgeon to discuss this issue.
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Liposuction and Tummy Tuck - Suture Abscesses
Unfortunately, suture abscesses can form (more common with permanent sutures than dissolvable sutures, but can occur with either) and, when they do, the sutures need to be removed. Removing the offending suture is usually successful in clearing the abscess - unless the same thing happens again with another suture. It can become a bit of a chase in that sense.
The good news is that once the tissues are healed (by about a year or so) the sutures become less and less important in terms of maintaining the result; ie, you body's scar tissue takes over and does most of the work. So if a suture has to be removed at that point it's unlikely to affect your final result.
No one knows why some people's sutures become infected or even why some sutures in a given person become infected and others don't. The only thing to do is to treat it if an abscess forms...and I do not know of anything you can do to prevent it.
But I hope that this has helped, and good luck,
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.