Treatment for Fat Necrosis After Tummy Tuck?

I'm 7 weeks post tummy tuck. I had a vertical incision (1 inch). I have fat necrosis (small area) at the junction where the two incisions meet. I feel a lot of tension on this area when I stand. I am a non-smoker. My doctor says to take two showers per day and dress it with gauze. I've read others who say they were told to keep the area dry and given a solution. Does my doctor's suggestions sound correct?

Doctor Answers 6

Delayed healing not uncommon

Your experience with delayed healing is not uncommon after "tummy tuck" (abdominoplasty").  The good news is that your surgeon is tending to your problem and that you will eventually heal completely.  It is good that you are not a smoker as that can definitely delay healing and even exposure to second-hand smoke can be a problem.

Regarding the choice of wound care, there are many options.  The basic principles include wound cleansing as with washing and dressings to help debride the wound (remove dead tissue) and protection from infection and drying with more of a closed than open type dressing regimen.  Your surgeon's suggestions sound good to me.  You should follow-up regularly while he/she monitors your progress and adjusts the regimen as indicated based on the wound changes.

Good luck and stay positive.

Coral Springs Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Fat necrosis.

Fat necrosis is a common problem after procedures such as tummy tucks, breast reductions, and body contouring. Fat necrosis presents as a firm or indurated area that typically feels like a nodule or mass. Time is the primary treatment. Some advocate massage or ultrasound to soften the area. In my practice, I usually wait anywhere from 3 to 6 months. If the area is softening, we continue to wait. If it persists, excision is recommended.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Fat necrosis

Thanks for you inquiry.  Fat necrosis and wound problems are common at the t-junction of a combination vertical-horizontal abdominoplasty.  I prefer dry wounds and dressings but the most important advice I can give you is that follow your surgeon's instructions.  We each have reasons for our woundcare which allow to reliably achieve proven results.  Good luck.

Vishnu Rumalla, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 197 reviews

Tummy tuck healing

Delayed healing can occur after a tummy tuck. Showers help keep the wound clean and I usually recommmend those as well if there are wound healing issues. Follow your surgeons instructions.  If you have questions about that you should contact him.

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

Fat Necrosis after Tummy Tuck?

Thank you for the question.

Based on your description I think you are experiencing a not uncommon complication after tummy tuck surgery. Generally, it is best to treat the situation conservatively and allow the area of necrosis  to “declare itself”;  surgical debridement at this time may result in removal of healthy tissue as well.

Also generally it is best to follow your plastic surgeon's recommendations as opposed to online consultants'.  Your plastic surgeon is ultimately responsible for your care and knows your situation much better than any other physician can.

Best wishes for a otherwise uneventful recovery.

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

Treatment for Fat Necrosis After Tummy Tuck?

Each surgeon treats their wound healing issue in their own manner. Best to follow your chosen surgeon's plan, unless you are not improving. Than a second opinion. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 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.