Am I Doing the Right Thing? Infected? Necrosis? (photo)

Hi! I am 19 days post op full TT. I went to see my PS at two weeks and still had tape from the day of surgery. His nurse removed the tape at this time. About midline incision a small amount of yellow bloody drainage was weeping. The nurse said that's just scab. Dabbed it with a 4x4 and applied more tape. I now have removed the tape and cleaned with antibacterial soap and applied neosporin. My confidence is hurt with them and I feel the first look should have been a bigger priority with my doc.

Doctor Answers 8

Partial skin breakdown possible

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Thank you for the question and the photos.  It does not appear that you have infection.  You also do not appear to have full thickness necrosis.  I suspect what we are seeing in the photos that you have provided is either some delayed healing or superficial skin breakdown.  As long as the wound is improving and there is no redness or drainage you should be fine.  I do think you should be seen by your plastic surgeon or his/her staff regularly to make sure healing is progressing as planned.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

You do not appear to have infection or necrosis

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Your story and photos suggest a small amount of wound separation and local inflammation.  Most issues with infection or tissue necrosis will be apparent by 19 days.  There could be some fat necrosis along he incision, where the fat tissue under the skin dies, but it does not appear to be very significant.  Minor issues with the incision area are common following tummy tuck; they usually get better with local wound care like you are doing.  Sometimes, opening the wound and packing are needed, but your situation does not look very extensive.  Plastic surgery nurses and assistants are very familiar with these situations and are often the primary source of care.  I suggest you give your doctors office a call and ask to be seen, even if it is just for reassurance.  Best of luck.

Michael S. Hopkins, MD (retired)
Albuquerque Plastic Surgeon

Am I Doing the Right Thing? Infected? Necrosis?

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What you are doing sounds appropriate. 

What I see in this photo is a small amount of wound separation, without any suggestion of necrosis or any adjacent skin inflammation that might suggest infection. I would suggest being seen weekly until this is closed. 

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Minor wound healing problems are common after abdominoplasty.

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I see no evidence of infection in the provided photograph. There is a minor wound healing issue that should take care of itself with proper wound care. Continue with your surgeon and make clear what your concerns are at the office visit.


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It does not appear you have an infection.   From you photos, it appears you have some irritation along your incision.  Im glad to hear you are following up with your PS.  Continue to follow his/her postoperative care instructions.  Wishing you a speedy recovery.

Am I Doing the Right Thing? Infected? Necrosis?

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From the posted photos it appears as the previous experts have identified your issues extremely well. What is of concern to me is the very poor follow up protocols of your surgeon. You need weekly at a minimum in person visits. 


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Hi Rnkdid. You are infected. You need to call and see your ps immediately. Check your temperature and let your ps know when you call.

Peter Fisher, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Necrosis After Tummy Tuck? #tummytuck

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I am sorry for your feelings and your experience, but it seems that they are telling you the correct information. It does look like just some scabbing and delayed wound healing that will heal with time. I would not use Neosporin. It is the worst thing you can put on a wound.  Neosporin can cause an inflammatory reaction in the skin that makes a wound look more and more infected each time you use it. Just stopping it can help resolve some of your issue.  I have used it your whole life but it is time to stop. Go buy any other antibiotic ointment on the shelf. Those will not cause the potential inflammatory reaction that many people have with Neosporin. That is the first thing. second, just be patient. Wound care takes time and yours does not look all that bad. When you leave tape on long and you are showering you are bound to get that yellowish discharge under the tape. At the end of the day I feel you are being guided by your surgeon correctly. You may not like the way they are handling or explaining it to you, but that is a bedside manner issue.

Richard J. Brown, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 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.