Is it normal for tummy tuck incision to open? (Photo)

I had my tummy tuck done going on 3 weeks every time I go to my ps he tells me everything is healing just going to take a bit longer but I have been checking my incision and it seems to be separating more and more instead of closing I have attached a picture of how it is today

Doctor Answers 9

Wound Dehiscence


Your wound is not uncommon, but it is not normal healing either. Your photo show substantial necrotic tissue that needs to be removed to encourage rapid healing.  In addition, you should have dressings of salt water soaked gauze that are changed two to three times daily. If your surgeon is not assisting you in this regard, you need to move on quickly. Best of luck!

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews


This is not normal healing.  This requires close continual follow up with your surgeon to manage this properly.

Hope this helps.

Dr. Ali Mosharrafa

Ali Mosharrafa, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Tummy Tuck Issues

Dear Ms. Flores,

Thank you for your picture.  This is a problem.  This needs attention in the form of removal of any unhealthy tissue followed by wound care to get this to heal.  Once healed you will need a scar revision.  Best wishes.

Earl Stephenson, Jr, MD, DDS, FACS

Delayed Wound Closure


I'm sorry to hear about your problem. This should eventually heal as your Plastic Surgeon says but will need specialised wound care including removal of dead tissue. You will need to follow up frequently for dressing changes and wound assessment.

All the best

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Wound problems

Hi.  You have the unfortunate complication of flap necrosis at the lower part of your tummy tuck incision. This is a known complication of tummy tucks.  It looks like you need some "debridement" (surgical clean-up), and good dressing care to get it to gradually heal in.  

I would ask your surgeon if he plans to trim away the abnormal appearing tissue and start packing the open area.

Thomas Fiala, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Wound separation is NOT normal

and your surgeon should be more forthright with you about what is happening.  You will heal as your surgeon says and it will take longer now but what you have is not normal.  Your wound requires TLC with weekly visits to remove any necrotic/dead tissue and to show you how to manage you wound, most likely with some kind of loose packing to allow the wound to heal from the inside out.  At least in the end, you will heal and your scar will be smaller than you can imagine at this point.  But if excessive thick or large, you should be able to discuss revisions with your surgeon down the road.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Open wound 3 weeks after tummy tuck

This is not the "normal" course for healing from a tummy tuck.  The most important thing is for you to be in close contact with your plastic surgeon's office as this is treated and allowed to heal on its own - to help prevent any more serious complications.

W. Tracy Hankins, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 293 reviews

Is it normal for tummy tuck incision to open?

I'm sorry to hear about the complication you have experienced; no it is not "normal" for incision lines to open to the extent that has happened in your case.   However, these types of open wounds do occur occasionally and (with good care) tend to heal over the course of several weeks. Sometimes, as you know, the area may look worse before it looks better. Most often, even larger open wounds have healed by the time a patient reached the two months post op mark.

These wounds go on to heal through a process of contraction where the tissues heal from the sides towards the center of the wound; occasionally, removal of unhealthy tissue (debridement) and/or removal of exposed sutures, may expedite the healing process. 


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).  Sometimes, for larger wounds, the use of a " vacuum assisted device" (VAC) may be very helpful.  

Also important to concentrate on a healthy diet, including good protein source.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

Tummy Tuck healing well?

Your tummy tuck is NOT healing well at all.  You seem to have lost some skin and underlying fatty tissue.  The open area is large and looks to be needing some debridement (removing the tissue that is not healthy).

I certainly suggest you call your surgeon and get him or her to treat this more aggressively.  If not, find another surgeon.  

Good luck to you.

Robert J. Spies, MD
Paradise Valley Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 88 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.