Problems with Wound Healing After Tummy Tuck.

Had lapband in 07 & lost 90 lb. After a TT & BL in 2/11 I had had 1 spot near umbilicus that hasn't healed. Fluid builds up around umbilicus & band port. Had surgery 2 weeks ago to clean wound, remove stitches around port, & was healing nicely. Drains came out, then 10 days post-op my incision opened & lots of drainage--25ml daily. PS said to wick it & I see her next week. She said if this surgery failed we may have to remove my band. Do you think I'll heal? Any other options to removing band?

Doctor Answers 4

Wound healing after body contouring

Marginal necrosis at the wound edge especially in the midline is not unusual following an abdominoplasty. With conservative management it will get better. Your plastic surgeon will help you get this area healed.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Chronic drainage from abdominal wound

Thank you for the helpful relevant information and sorry that you have had so much aggravation. One of the reasons for recurrence of drainage is an infection or sub-acute infection with a foreign body present (lap band port). Do you know if the fluid was drained? Had you been placed on antibiotics? Do you have diabetes? Do you smoke?

If there was a fixed lining of this cavity that was not removed at the time of your most recent surgery, then the drainage will likely continue.

Answers to the above can help determine what the appropriate course of action may be. Consideration should also be given for re-insertion of a drain and application of an anti-bacterial agent to the area.

Discuss with your plastic surgeon. Consider obtaining a second opinion from another board certified plastic surgeon.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Persistent Drainage after Tummy Tuck in a Lap Band Massive Weight Loss Patient

I am truly sorry to hear of your condition.

To summarize your history, you had a lap band procedure resulting in a weight loss of 90 pounds. In Feb 2011 you had a Tummy Tuck which resulted in persistent drainage thru the belly button. Nine months of drainage later, in 11/2011 you had an unspecified debridement cleaning procedure which was apparently complicated by a fluid collection / seroma.

If indeed you waited 9 months to address persistent drainage, you most likely have a chronic seroma / bursa. If your surgeons used a mesh during any of the previous operations there is a chance it is infected and needs to be removed. Opening such a chronic pocket and allowing it to heal from the inside out is rarely needed but will work in the vast majority of cases. As regards the lap band port, I do a fair number of massive weight loss contouring plastic surgery procedures and I have never encountered a situation where the port had to be removed. That does not mean it cannot happen. Every man made implant can become infected and once that happens it will have to be removed, if that is the case.

If you have any doubts, consider seeing another respected board-certified Plastic surgeon in your community for his/her opinion.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Tummy Tuck Wound Healing Problems?

Thank you for the question.

I'm sorry to hear about the complications you are experiencing. Your situation is somewhat complex given the presence of the foreign body (lap band port).  I think whether you will end up healing ( and be able to keep the lap band port) will ultimately depend on whether you have an infection present. If there is an infection present it may not resolve until the foreign body (lap band port)  is removed.

If on the other hand, the drainage you have experienced is a seroma ( and is not infected)  then you are more likely to heal and be able to keep the lap band port in place.

I would suggest that you continue to do as you are doing and follow up with your plastic surgeon frequently.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 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.