Tummy Tuck Stitches Failed, What Else to Do?

I had my TT 3 w ago, 2 d PO I went out, had alcoholic drinks to for pain, I came home, had a nap, due to pain I checked my TT, half the stitching let go & the skin parted about 10cm exposing the ab muscles with bleeding, I covered it with cotton & placed the compression garment, I left it for two weeks in became a bit (smelly) &severely painful & exposed part of the abdominal muscles is more like plastic now, I can hardly walk or stand up straight, I didn’t see my surgeon because I cant afford the flight.

Doctor Answers 5

Get immediate attention at a hospital!

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Dr. Schlesinger is absolutely correct, and I hope that by now you have received the emergency consultation you need for abdominal incision dehiscence and wound infection. Unattended to, these can lead to severe complications or even death.

So for those prospective patients who think surgical tourism is a "good way to save money," here is a prime example of why you need to be in the care of your surgeon post-operatively. And if you do travel for surgery, have a plan for post-op care in the city where your surgery is performed, or at least a colleague in your town to refer to once you return home. None of this was arranged in this patient's case; only "cost-savings" was considered. Imagine the costs now, as well as the final cosmetic result, assuming she obtains proper treatment for her complications.

It is another example of why following instructions post-op is important. Mixing alcohol with pain medications (or instead of using prescribed medications as directed) is a recipe for disaster. The "stitching let go" actually means that excessive activity while under the effects of alcohol caused the sutures to tear through when restrictions of activity should have been followed. Alcohol leads to bad judgement, and is not recommended at all until off all medications that can have unsafe interactions.

Unfortunately, assuming this patient survives her problem, she will simply tell everyone that she had "bad plastic surgery." ABPS-certified plastic surgeons can have complications, but know how to avoid most of them, and treat the ones that do occur properly. This sounds like a set of bad choices from the start.

Please let us know if you are OK. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Wound Infection after Tummy Tuck

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Your questions bring up several concerns to me, mostly indicating that you are not a good candidate for the procedure you had.


It is not safe to drink alcohol two days after a tummy tuck.  It seems as though this might be directly responsible for you opening up a large part of your incision and having a potentially life threatening complication from bleeding or infection.


Secondly, it seems as though you had your procedure outside of the country, which basically leaves you high and dry for postop care from your surgeon.   


I think you need to proceed urgently to your nearest emergency room for treatment, as you seem to have a deep tissue infection that requires urgent attention.


I wish you a safe recovery.


Dr. GIll

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Wound after a Tummy Tuck

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I'm sorry this happened to you. While you may not be able to see your plastic surgeon, you should call right away and ask if he or she can recommend a plastic surgeon in your area to see you. While this is not an ideal solution, you do need to be evaluated and treated by someone who has experience with this.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Infected Abdominoplasty

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I am truly sorry that you are going through this.  At this point, you do not need a plastic surgeon.  You need an emergency room and immediate hospitalization.  You have an infection.  Call an ambulance and go to your nearest emergency department.  I am afraid you are in serious trouble.  CALL THE AMBULANCE NOW.

Wound dehiscence after tummy tuck

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You have a wound dehiscence after tummy tuck.  It is imperative that you go see your plastic surgeon.  Given that you have "smelly," painful, exposed area, you need to be evaluated to make sure that you do not have infection. At the least, you should talk to him/her and ask for recommendation on wound care management.   You should be doing local wound care twice a day to clean the area +/- antibiotics.

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.