How is it possible that after getting a tummy tuck some people get burns on their torso?

Doctor Answers 6

Post op TT

Hi and thanks for the question. I believe what you may be seeing are areas of tissue necrosis that result in wounds that can appear like 3rd degree burns. In the scenario of tissue necrosis the body is not able to supply enough blood to certain areas of the abdomen and that tissue doesn't survive resulting in a wound. I hope this was helpful- Dr Hardy...

Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Burns after tummy tuck

I'm not sure if I'm misunderstanding your question, but there are a couple of reasons why someone might have "burns" on their skin.  If you wake up from surgery with a "burn" that is most likely an injury sustained by the cautery used during the surgery.  If the "burns" are in the area of the dressings, this is most likely caused by steri-strips, tapes, or bandages that are applied tightly and then cause a shear or stress on the skin as swelling occurs.  Either of these "burns" would usually heal with time and dressings.  Sometimes if a wound dehisces (pulls apart), a black scab can form that might resemble a burn.  This can occur from the incision being under too much tension (pulled too tight), or from other medical problems that can affect wound healing (diabetes, smoking etc).  Lastly, in performing a tummy tuck, a good portion of the abdomen becomes "numb".  This is usually temporary (although it may be permanent around the incision).  This leads to people not being able to feel their skin adequately.  I have had patients use heating pads or hot water bottles that were too hot and not realize they were burning their skin.  This can be avoided by making sure there is always something between the heat source and your abdomen and by limiting the time exposed to heat.  I hope that answers your question.  Good luck!

Kirsty Boyd, MD, FRCSC
Ottawa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Burns after tummy tuck

Burns after not common. I think you might be referring to blistering and skin loss. This may occur with aggressive abdominal liposuction and tummy tucks as well as poor wound healing for smokers or diabetics or other patients at risk.

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

How is it possible that after getting a tummy tuck some people get burns on their torso?

Thank you for your question.  I am sorry to hear of your experience.  It is not uncommon for tape used to hold dressings in place to cause blisters on the torso or abdomen.  Another possible cause is that the cautery used during surgery was accidentally touched against the skin.  Please discuss with your surgeon.

How is it possible that after getting a tummy tuck some people get burns on their torso?

Patients can get burns if the cautery accidentally touches their skin. More common is blistering of the skin if the garment or dressings/tape are irritating. Hope this helps!

Farah Naz Khan, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Skin burns after tummy tucks

Thank you for asking about your tummy tuck.

Without a photo, one can only say that if the cautery touches the skin by mistake, a skin burn will result. And if the bandage or garment irritates the skin, it can cause blistering and shearing of the skin. Using a laser liposuction machine can burn the undersurface of the skin or the incision site. Did it happen to you? Can you post a photo of what it looks like? 

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes, Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

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