Does This Tummy Tuck Look Normal After 5 Weeks? (photo)

I have had a lot of healing issues with this tummy tuck among other things like a drain tube breaking off inside me while trying to be extracted at 2 weeks. I am currently doing wet to dry dressing for a week. Does this look normal after 5 1/2 weeks?

Update: Rotated photo

Doctor Answers 11

Wound healing

On the surface, I agree with the other doctors. However, I would not be surprised if there is some retained fluid or perhaps blood clot under the skin. Although this is not an emergency ( and may not even be present), it should be aspirated or drained to relieve pressure on the skin. Sometimes enough time will pass that a small opening may develop whereby this fluid will drain spontaneously. If this happens, do not panic as it is usually makes you feel better not worse. Stay close to your plastic surgeon to maintain a happy ending.

Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Post op healing

You have some necrosis (tissue death) of the abdominal flap. This is due to inadequate blood supply to this tissue. I suspect that your surgeon has been debriding the area (cutting away the dead tissue.) This will all ultimately heal although you will likely need a scar revision at some point to get the ideal result. This can be done under local anesthesia with minimal downtime.

You may also have a seroma or fluid collection underneath that needs to be drained. Best to return to your plastic surgeon.

Normal Healing After Tummy Tuck?

While this is not "normal", it is also not entirely unheard of following a tummy tuck.  Typically this occurs in patients who smoke, or less commonly in diabetics.  Having your surgeon remove the black unhealthy tissue in their office will speed up the healing process.  Usually you want to give the scar a minimum of several weeks to months to heal on its own before deciding on whether a scar revision is indicated, but noting how well the outer portions of your scars are healing from your photo, I would suggest you do get a scar revision done at some point to make the entire scar look even and less noticeable.  Best wishes.

Brian Howard, MD (retired)
Alpharetta Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Healing issues after tummy tuck, not the normal

With tummy tuck, complications can happen, and your healing course is not normal. The separation could be caused by excessive tension, sensitivity to sutures, or possibly smoking. At five weeks, things are not normal though with the dressing program you are on, the incision will heal.

Best of luck,

Peter Johnson MD

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Does This Tummy Tuck Look Normal After 5 Weeks? (photo)

Read each expert posters reply for therapy. But this is not what we hope for but it is very easy to treat. Good luck. 

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

Tummy tuck wound

It looks like you are not healing in the middle portion.  You should be doing some wound care in that area as directed by your plastic surgeon.  He or she may also debride some of the necrotic tissue within the wound.  With good wound care and time it should heal.  You may need a scar revision later since it may heal with a wider scar than normal.  Hopefully you do not smoke as this will inhibit healing and if you are diabetic make sure your blood sugars are under tight control.  Good luck!

Tiffany McCormack, MD
Reno Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

It appears that you have hematoma sand wound dehiscence

  This can be caused by many things including infection ,blood clot and decreased blood supply to your skin.  If you smoke or have diabetes it could also have contributed to your wound healing problem.  Treatment should consist of local wound care and possible debridement of non-viable tissue.  The wound will likely heal in from the bottom up resulting in a widened scar.  This can be revised at a later time.  Make sure you see your plastic surgeon regularly so they can evaluate your wound.  

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 122 reviews

There has been some skin loss at the margin of this tummy tuck.

The black edge along the belt line indicates a narrow strip of skin loss.  This is uncommon after an abdominoplasty but no rare.  If the loss is small, the body might be able to remove and replace it with nothing more than dressing changes.  If the loss is more substantial, your surgeon will need to remove the dead skin and treat the wound until it heals.  A scar revision might be needed down the road.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Postoperative Tummy Tuck Issues

You have had a superficial skin loss or necrosis that has led to the death of the skin at the wound edge.  It does not appear that there is an infection, but this should be watched closely for progression to an infection. Stay in close contact with your surgeon to ensure that this progresses to healing. Cleaning the area with betadine helps to dry out an eschar, but check with your doctor to get a formal opinion.

Best of luck,

Vincent Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Vincent P. Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Does this look normal after tummy tuck?

You have suffered some wound separation from what appears to be a small area of skin necrosis (loss of blood supply to the skin). This is a risk after tummy tuck. Fortunately the area is rather narrow, so this should heal in on it's own over time...a few to several weeks.  The eventual scar in this area may turn out to be satisfactory, but if it is wider or more prominent, it should be a simple procedure to revise it later when things have settled down and the skin has regained some pliability and stretch.

Robert M. Grenley, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 87 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.