*WARNING* Graphic Picture: Is This Infection?? (photo)

I had a TT with MR and Lipo on 10/14/11. I have recently changed surgeons because I got Staph and MRSA which my first surgeon didn't treat. I now have to be opened again to be cleaned out and have excess skin removed. Tonight while I was changing I noticed greenish fluid coming out of my incision. The area is hot and red right now, and I can walk my fingers down my incision and more greenish fluid oozes out. Should I call my doctor right now? I don't have a fever, and I'm not on an antibiotic.

Doctor Answers 11

When to call your surgeon....

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Most plastic surgeons would want to know that an abdominoplasty incision had opened and was draining fluid such as the photos show.  It sounds like you have certainly had a difficult time with your recovery from your abdominoplasty.

Unfortunately despite best efforts, infections can occur with all times of surgery.  Even removing a small cyst or a mole can lead to an infection due to a break in the skin.  Your post stated that you had to change surgeons and this is unfortunate.  At this point I would without question suggest calling your new surgeon and if this is not possible you need to go to an Emergency Room and get treatment.

Forums online have become a wealth of information for the patient, and while this is truly a great thing none of us can provide medical advise to you without seeing you, examining you, and knowing the entire history.  The best thing for you to do at this point is to see your surgeon.  I tell my patients to call me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with any questions and/or concerns and you should be able to reach your doctor with issues such as this!

I wish you a speedy recovery!

Good luck!

Cherry Hill Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Drainage from incision after tummy tuck

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You need to call your plastic surgeon right away.  This appears to be a wound infection with a draining abscess, although it could represent fat necrosis where some of the surrounding tissue dies and liquifies.  The incision will likely need to be opened further to allow for good drainage, cultures of the drainage should be taken and antibiotics started.  The sooner this is started the better for your healing and recovery.

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

Call Now.

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The short answer is that you have an ongoing infection and need treatment. Don't delay.

Brian Klink, MD
Vacaville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 reviews


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You will definitely need further treatment.  You should contact your surgeon and be seen as soon as possible.  You will likely need to have the wound opened and packed and be placed on antibiotics.  Antibiotics alone will not take care of your problem.  Long term, you may require a scar revision once everything is healed after the infection is cleared.  Amazingly, many patients end up with a good cosmetic result even after an infection.  Sorry that this happened to you, but hang in there. 

Surgical Complication - Abscess with surrounding infection

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You have a self-draining abscess with obvious long standing infection.

At this point, in the least, the scar needs to be opened wider and the abscess pocket needs to be cleaned of all pus. The pus must be sent off for multiple cultures and the pocket needs to be washed, have all dead tissues removed and it needs to be packed with gauze and have the dressings changed daily. Appropriate antibiotics should be started and adjusted in a few days based on what germs grew in your culture.

You should contact your surgeon and if you cannot reach him go to a local ER where your surgeon operates.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Seek medical attention immediately

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Please seek medical attention immediately. This is definitely an infection that needs to be resolved before a more serious complication occurs, such as necrosis. 

This looks like an infection.

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This looks like an infection. If you have not already done so, seek medical attention immediately before the infection progesses and gets worse. Absence of fever does not mean that there isn't a local problem in the area of the surgery.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Call Surgeon Now?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

I am sorry to hear about the complications you have experienced.

Your description and pictures are consistent with ongoing infection. You should call your surgeon immediately. Again, based on the description of a “hot and red” area  It is likely that your surgeon will prescribe antibiotics.

Best wishes.


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This looks like an infection. Make an appointment to see your surgeon as soon as possible, before it gets worse. This needs to be treated immediately. Never be afraid to ask your surgeons questions or schedule follow up appointments if you have any concerns.
Best of luck

Dhaval M. Patel
double board certified
Plastic surgeon
Hoffman Estates

Dhaval M. Patel, MD
Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Drainage after abdominal surgery

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You should absolutely call your surgeon. The drainage could be pus or fat necrosis fluid. Fat necrosis usually has a greasy look to it with no odor. Pus usually has an odor. Either way, you need to be examined, cultures taken of the fluid, and possible dainage. Best wishes to you, Dr. H

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 230 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.