Is This Normal? 3 Months Post MOM. (photo)

I did a mommy make over about 3 months ago and since then i had two infections on tummy tuck scar on same spot.First it was a large bump sticking out along with fever and incision very warm went to doc and he drained it out lots of puss came out i had to pack it for a month till it closed. 3 weeks later after it was practicaly closed i got it again same spot doc did the same thing still no answer of why now i found a stich coming out.Was this preventable?why does it happen?

Doctor Answers 7

Is This Normal? 3 Months Post MOM

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

"Normal"? no

Common? yes

There are numerous sutures after a tummy tuck, and it is not uncommon for one or more to reach the surface skin and become contaminated before it dissolves, resulting in something like what has happened with you.

Inconvenient? yes.

Affecting the outcome? no


That suture should be removed if it hasn't already been, and this area should then heal promptly. Thanks for the question, best wishes for a nice outcome.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon

3 months postop

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

You may be experiencing an area of slow healing because of a retained suture.  Please followup with your plastic surgeon for local wound care instructions.  An additional bedside debridement (clean up) may be helpful.  Best wishes.

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

Abscesses and Stitch Abscesses Very Common After Tummy Tuck

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

Usually, the deep permanent sutures have superficial dissolvable sutures above them.  The blue suture that you show in your picture is probably Prolene, a monofilament thread that some surgeons use to close the deep tissue referred to as the SFS (superficial fascial system).  This suture rarely gets infected.  Above that, most of us put a dissolvable suture in the subcutaneous space.  These sutures dissolve by having certain enzymes or white blood cells break them down.  This requires fluid and, unfortunately, these stitches are sometimes too close to the surface, they can't dissolve easily, but the white blood cells around them lead to pus and a pimple-like formation which looks like an infection but lacks bacteria.  Once opened to allow this non-bacteria filled pus out, this then allows some bacteria from the outside world to go down deeper, contaminate the permanent suture which leads to frank pus and the necessity for antibiotics and more drainage.  

Unfortunately, I have seen this in my own practice and it is very frustrating, but it is probably more common than we think.  Short answer, what happened to your suture line is normal.  

Suture abscess after mommy makeover

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

Although tummy tuck is a very safe surgery, there can be small risks for infection, scar, pain, seroma, hematoma, or wound dehiscence. From your descriptions and photos, it seems like you had stitch  abscess.  Some deep sutures can take 4-6 months to dissolve; sometimes, they can work their way out to the skin and cause infection.  Now that the suture is removed, with local wound care, the wound should close soon.  

Suture Abscess

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

It appears that you have a deep suture which has migrated to the surface and formed an abscess/infection.  Removal of the suture and gentle/local wound care should resolve this issue quickly.

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Post operative wound healing problems

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

You appear to have an exposed suture that should be removed.  Once the foreign body is removed, the wound should heal with local wound care and conservative measures. 

Todd C. Case, MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon

Delayed Healing After Tummy Tuck

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

It looks like you still have an infected suture. The suture looks like a "monofilament" which means that you will probably respond well to local care and perhaps a course of antibiotics. While not desirable these things can happen. Overall it doesn't look that bad given the relatively small size. Return to your surgeon.

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.