8 weeks post op. Incision inflamed, red, hot. Why would this issue be appearing so far out? (photos)

I'm currently on day 3 of antibiotics. recently cleared for full activity. Suddenly my incision has become very inflamed. I felt achy and was having hot flashes. No fever. I woke up today to see the area is increasing in redness, and tenderness. Doc said at my appointment yesterday that he thought it was cellulitis. Going back in 2 day due 2 the increase in redness and was told by his nurse to be prepared for the doc to go back in. 

Doctor Answers 5

Post-Op Incisions and Scars Slow to Heal

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It may take several months for tummy tuck scars to soften, for sensation to return, and for relaxing of  tightness  in the abdomen. In the case of extensive surgery, abdominoplasty recovery can be uncomfortable and may take longer. Scars may stay red, become thick or widen. It can take 12-18 months for the scars to settle.

These can be improved with topical treatments such as BioCorneum, Scar Guard, Scar Fade and Mederma. Redness can be improved with laser treatments and the scars can be kept narrow with products such as Embrace.  On occasion, keloids or hypertrophic scars can develop and will need treatment including Kenalog, 5FU and laser.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

8 weeks post op. Incision inflamed, red, hot. Why would this issue be appearing so far out?

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I am sorry to hear about the problem you are experiencing; on the other hand, I'm glad to know that your plastic surgeon is following you carefully/closely. If the infection does not resolve with the antibiotic therapy, a drainage procedure may be necessary.  It is possible that an underlying suture and/or unhealthy tissue is the "culprit" and that a drainage procedure would be very helpful. Best wishes.


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It sounds reasonable to follow closely with you surgeon especially if he suspects you have a cellulitis. If oral antibiotics do not help, you may need IV antibiotics.

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

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8 weeks post op. Incision inflamed, red, hot. Why would this issue be appearing so far out? (photos)

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I'm sorry to hear this is happening to you. It could be a reaction to the absorbable sutures which would be dissolving around now (depending on which ones your doctor used) or it could be an infection. Its rare to have an infection show up at 8 weeks but certainly possible. Its best to trust your doctor to manage this and if it means more surgery then thats what has to be done to get you healthy again. Best of luck! 

Mathew A. Plant, MD, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Red Incision After Tummy Tuck

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Dear bluize06,

Your pictures are much appreciated.  In my opinion, your plastic surgeon is right on top of things.  Antibiotics and observation approach is very reasonable.  Continue to follow his/her aftercare instructions.  Best wishes.

Earl Stephenson, Jr, MD, DDS, FACS Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery

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.