Puss on Tummy Tuck incision 6 weeks post-op. What should I do to keep it from getting worse? (photos)

I had a tt about 6 weeks ago and about 3 day ago a little part on the incision had a little bump with puss. My doctor told me it is probably a reaction to the dissolvable stitch. To keep it clean but it is red and now another part on the incision is showing puss too. 

Doctor Answers 5

I am 6 weeks after a tummy tuck operation and have a small amount of pus coming out of an incision. Is this serious?

The photo shows a small infection in the incision that is related to a rejecting desolvable suture. We sometime call this a stitch abscess. This continues until the infected stitch is removed or comes out by itself. I would consult you plastic surgeon again. As you know the post operative care is included in your surgery and you should not hesitate to see your surgeon as many times as necessary after an operation. This condition should get better with proper care but close observation is mandatory.

Morristown Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Pus on Tummy Tuck incision 6 weeks post-op.

It sounds like your surgeon is giving you good advice.  It is relatively common to have some of the dissolvable (absorbable) sutures work their way through the incision.  It is usually a self-limited process and basic wound care should be adequate.  You should also see your surgeon since if the suture is visible it can be removed (safely) at this point and that will speed the recovery.  In the absence of systemic signs, such as fever, chills, sweats, etc) you shouldn't need more than that.

I hope that this helps and good luck,
Dr. E

Alan M. Engler, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Reaction to sutures

Reactions to sutures are very common. Abdominoplasty incisions have many sutures. The body is trying to dissolve the suture and this can produce an inflammatory response that can be hard to tell from an infection. Redness is common as well as a little separation of the incision. You should follow up with your surgeon, the suture may need to be removed or you may need antibiotics if it is an infection.

Sheila Bond, MD
Montclair Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Puss on Tummy Tuck incision 6 weeks post-op. What should I do to keep it from getting worse?

Sounds like your surgeon is right on top of your issue. Allow him/her to continue to do their post operative care for you...  

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Red area along incision could be a dissolvable suture coming to the surface

Hard to be certain from the photographs (which are very helpful, btw), and you did the right thing by asking your surgeon.  If this is worsening at all, you should call them back to ask about it.

However, this appearance is consistent with one of the dissolvable sutures, often placed just under the skin, poking out through the skin before it dissolved.  These can take up to three months to dissolve, and until they do, they might come out through the skin.  When they do, some localized redness is likely.

What you should watch out for is redness that spreads more than say half an inch or so from the incision line, increasing pain, or really anything that seems to get progressively worse.  All of those may be signs of an infection that may need to be treated.  Be sure to call your surgeon immediately if you notice any of those.

But based on your photos, I agree that this is likely due to a suture coming out though the skin.  If your surgeon can find and remove the suture, the opening it made may heal more quickly.

Good luck!

James Nachbar, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 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.