Tummy tuck incision separating? (Photo)

My doctor said it was slow healing. Today they took off the debris and it looks worse than ever. The doctor I am seeing in the states said that i am going to need skin grafting because it will not close on its on. The doctor who operated me said that it is because of poor circulation and it is going to be a slow healing process. I have no fever, no puss or bad smell or pain. I am really concerned and need a third opinion thank you

Doctor Answers 5

Tummy tuck incision separating?

Thank you for sharing your question and photograph and I am sorry to see your tummy tuck incision separation.  Though a known complication, I am happy that you have been able to obtain quality medical care to help you through this healing process.  Your current physician has done the appropriate removal of poor quality tissue and is allowing your body time to heal itself from the inside-out.  Follow your physician's advice and you should see steady improvement in the appearance until healing takes place in a couple of months.  Best wishes. 

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Wound issues after your tummy tuck

You have experienced a complication after your tummy tuck. There are many reasons why this can happen. It seems that you had your surgery out of the country and you were able to find a local plastic surgeon to help. You are very lucky since most plastic surgeons are unwilling (for many good reasons) to assume the responsibility for a surgery done in another country with another surgeon. This will be slow to heal but should heal. Additional surgeries may be required. It would not surprise me if the cost to fix this far exceeds the cost of your original surgery since health insurance cannot cover complications that are the result of elective cosmetic surgeries.

Matthew Schulman, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 326 reviews

Wound issue

A wound like this can happen for many reasons that can be related to your overall medical health, aggressive lipo with a tummy tuck, tension on wound closure, to name a few. Most of the time, this goes on to heal with good local wounds care alone. Most of the time a skin graft is not needed. Good luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Tummy tuck incision separating

This is an unfortunate complication that can sometimes occur with abdominoplasty.  It sounds like you had your procedure out of the country and are following up with a different surgeon.  This is an example of why it is generally a terrible idea to go out of the country for a surgical procedure unless you can stay there for your entire postoperative recovery.  Follow your current surgeon's instructions. Further debridement might be required. A wound of that size will likely heal without a skin graft.  However your scarring in that area might be unfavorable and you might desire a revision at some point in the future. For now there is nothing to do but allow the area to heal. Best wishes to you!

Erik Miles, MD, FACS
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Tummy tuck incision separating?

I am sorry to hear about the complication you are experiencing. Separation of the incision line is a known complication after tummy tuck surgery. Close follow up with your plastic surgeon will be in your best interests; sometimes removal of a exposed suture and/or removal of any unhealthy tissue will expedite healing. 

Otherwise, wound care regimens will differ from one plastic surgeon to another. Generally, this will involve application of some type of sterile dressing  (in my practice I use a non-stick dressing covered by a sterile dressing). You should have peace of mind that (despite the "scary" appearance of these wounds) these types of wound healing problems generally go on to heal over the course of the next several weeks, without long-term sequelae. It may be helpful for you to know that sometimes the area may "look worse, before it looks better". Skin grafting and/or other surgical procedures (besides minor debridement procedures) are generally not necessary.  For larger wounds a Vac ("Vacuum assisted device") may be helpful.

Also important to concentrate on a healthy diet, including a good protein source. Occasionally, in the event of a wider scar, scar revision surgery may be helpful down the line. Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 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.