Are my Scars Healing Normally? 5 Weeks Post Op. (photo)

I had a full tummy tuck & breast reduction (36 DDD to a D) 5 weeks ago. I'm concerned that the right breast where there drainage tube was located hasn't closed up. Is there anything I can do to speed up the process? As for the tummy tuck scar, most of the areas are healing great and I can only see a small light pink line. However, the areas shown in the picture are black and continually get oozing (sorry for the 'technical term') by the end of the day. I see my dr every week: "keep dry & clean"

Doctor Answers 12

Is My Wound Healing Progressing At A Reasonable Rate?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you very much for your question and the pictures you provided.  Your abdominal and breast wounds are clean with no sign of infection.  The black areas you refer to are known as eschar.  They will slough off naturally.  The tissue below the escher and the tissue on your breast are known as granulation tissue.   The red granulation tissue will both contract and ultimately be covered with epithelium (new skin).

What all those doctor words mean is you are right where you should be, no sign of infection and your tissue should heal.  Keep in close contact with your plastic surgeon.  Even though you visit with him or her weekly, if anything changes, call and let his office know immediately.

Normal Post Operative Healing?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for the question and the photos provided. Your incisions appear to be doing well. It is not uncommon to have small areas which heal at a slower rate than than the rest of the incision. They do not appear to be infected and should go on to heal with appropriate local care with very little residual effect if any on the appearance of the scar.

There is no way to speed up your healing process. This will take time and good care. Having said that should there be any retained foreign material (sutures) at the base of your wounds, they should be removed as that will impede your healing. Continue to follow up with your plastic surgeon closely.

Good luck.

Are my Scars Healing Normally? 5 Weeks Post Op.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Things appear to be healing at an acceptable rate. But I think you need a sit down with your surgeon to be more informed on the healing process. Over the internet reading unknown docs responses can cause more confusion. So ALWAYS best to ask for some time to discuss your concerns with the operative surgeon. Good luck 

Are my Scars Healing Normally

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

It is not uncommon to have some areas of slow healing in these incisions, and almost always they go on to heal nicely without needing any more surgery. There are some visible absorbable staples in the open parts of the TT incision, and you may wish to discuss with your surgeon whether to remove them--they come out quite easily. There may also be some suture material under the scab about the navel that can be removed. Getting the foreign material out may speed up your recovery. Continue to follow up with your surgeon, and observe the sensible instructions. Best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Healing after Tummy Tuck & Breast Reduction

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

It is not unusual to have some minor healing issues after surgery. Keeping the area clean, with a bit of antibiotic ointment to keep it moist, and covered with a Band-aid, may help speed up the healing process.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Concerns about Incision Line Healing after Breast Reduction/Tummy Tuck...

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Congratulations on having undergone the breast reduction and tummy tuck procedures. These types of incision line/drain site healing “issues” that you are experiencing occur occasionally at this stage in your recovery. You will find that you should go on to heal my sleep over the course of the next month.  Sometimes areas will look worse,  before they look better.

My recommendations to patients are similar to what your plastic surgeon has recommended;  I suggest that you keep the “scabs” in place as long as possible;  they serve as biologic Band-Aids as the underlying tissues heal.  Non-stick dressings may be helpful.

Otherwise,  make sure you are  eating a well-balanced diet with sufficient protein… Continue to follow-up with your plastic surgeon;  I think you should do well in the long-term.

 Best wishes.

Healing Problems Breast Reduction Tummy Tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

You are having some problems along the scars.  This can happen and is a known risk to the surgery. These do need attention and with good care will go on to heal.  Ask your doctor to give you more specific details as to how to care for this.  What to use, what kind of bandages, how often to change, what to look for etc.

Albert Dabbah, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon

Dressing changes help...

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
It’s not unusual for patients to have areas of superficial wound breakdown following abdominoplasty and breast reduction surgery.These problems occur for a variety of reasons including infection, poor blood supply and tension on the closure.
Your pictures suggest minimal separation of your wound with eschar formation.Eschar is the black scab that’s located along your abdominal incision.It’s normal for these scabs to slowly lift off the wound and reveal a layer of granulation tissue.In your case, granulation tissue is already forming on your breast wound.Once this has occurred, new skin grows over the surface and the wound edges pull themselves together.
In the vast majority of cases, these wounds heal nicely but rarely scar revision may be necessary.During the healing process, it’s important to perform dressing changes.This optimizes wound healing and minimizes the potential for infection.
It’s important to maintain contact with your plastic surgeon.Your surgeon should be able to monitor your progress and take appropriate steps to optimize your wound healing.

Wound healing problems after a tummy tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Wound separation and marginal ischemia are not normal but are also not uncommon. You should be evaluated by your plastic surgeon, debrided as needed and placed on a wound protocol to avoid problems while healing.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Mommy makeover and drainage wound healing

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}


 Your doctor is correct in that you need time to allow your body to "push" the eschar (scab) areas off and under these areas, you will find more of the granulation tissue.  This is the pink tissue your body is producing to allow areas to heal.

  Your healing process is going well and you have some areas that are undergoing delayed healing but no surgical intervention is indicated whatsoever.  There is nothing you can do to speed the process of healing other than not smoking etc.  Be patient....the body healing process is amazing.

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.