Post Surgical Leakage and Shower Question? (photo)

I had tummy tuck, lipo and arm lift 12 days age. Sutures were not removed, only drainage tubes. I have a lot of leakage from my belly button. Surgery was done in Mexico and I am concerned about leakage. Is it normal? What is the normal amount of time to remove sutures? Doctor told me, this past Friday to wait another week. When can I shower? His instructions were to keep incision dry.

Doctor Answers 5

Medical tourism - not worth the risks

Sorry to say but your abdominal incision looks like a real mess.  You have swelling of the lower abdomen and appear to have a seroma or possibly an infection.  Your skin edges look inflamed.   You should be in contact with your surgeon and seek help immediately before you condition deteriorates.  Some plastic surgeons are willing to see patients who have sought surgery out of the country.  This places both the plastic surgeon and the patient at some degree of risk since we are being asked to care for a complication and have no idea of how the procedure was performed.  I occasionally have been asked to care for patients in your same position.  It is done with some degree of trepidation.  No one likes caring for someone else's surgical complication.  If you can not get back to the surgeon in Mexico then do your best locally.  

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Arm Tuck and Tummy Tuck

Dear Susan.  Sorry to hear you're having problems.  As far as sutures go, I bury all my sutures (absorbable) under the skin so they never need to be removed.  Most surgeons that use non-absorbable sutures on the skin typically take them out about a week post-op to avoid getting pock marks.  If the fluid looks like pus or you are having fevers, you need to be evaluated right away.  If it's clear or light yellow and very watery, it's probably a seroma that has drained spontaneously, but should also be evaluated. 

Victor Ferrari, MD, FACS
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Surgery in Mexico and follow up.

If you had surgery of this magnitude in Mexico I surely hope you live in Mexico near your surgeon.   You need to visit your surgeon and get his or her advice since only your surgeon knows exactly what was done.    Drainage may be normal , but then again drainage may denote seroma or infection.   While there are fine surgeons in Mexico, hopefully you did not make a remote visit for your surgery.    If your surgeon is miles away, you are probably best advised to go to your local University service for follow up care.   Please understand that when and if you traveled thousands of miles away for your surgery, you now have no one near you to care for you.   Now care in the USA involves finding a doctor willing to care for you in the USA and you being willing to take on the substantial additional costs of follow up care.   University services are usually the best choice and generally they will take a price.    It is simply a very bad idea to travel thousands of miles away for surgery.  Think about what happens should problems arise (and they do arise).   Always choose a local surgeon in the USA.  There are thousands of fine ABPS-FACS surgeons in the USA.   Going overseas is not a bargain and  can result in massive additional expense.   It may cost you your life.  Be careful.  Be aware.  My Best,  Dr C

George Commons, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Post Surgical Leakage and Shower Question?

I would suggest starting by sending the photos to your surgeon and calling him. If that gets you nowhere, you will need to find a surgeon near your home to treat you, and that may not be simple and may not be cheap. Post op care of a patient with complications is a lot of work to take on by a surgeon who did not do your operation. This is the downside of having surgery in a foreign land.

A university hospital department might be the likeliest place to start. Otherwise your primary physician might have someone who owes him/her a favor. Emergency room is the last resort. 

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Post Surgical Leakage and Shower Question? (photo)

Sorry for you choice of out of country surgery! You need immediate post operative care. Things do not appear OK from the posted photos. Either return to this Mexican ?PS or seek in Tucson a boarded PS (there are many) to render care. The surgery appears irregular and there could be a seroma formation in the lower abdominal flap! The incisions are sub standard and not acceptable even for an intern in general surgery let alone a ?PS. There are "dog ear deformities in ALL the incisions, no attention to detail. The issue is finding a boarded PS in USA who would be willing to undertake your care and revisional surgery. This will not be free but quite expensive! The saying , "...the cheap becomes expensive..." comes to mind. Remember look for the "circle" the logo of the ASPS! Sorry for your issues and decisions until NOW. Make a better choice!  

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 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.