5 Week Post Full Tummy Tuck: Is This Necrosis?

I am freaking out. My incision has been healing beautifully and then today I noticed this when I got out of the shower. It is about the size of a matchstick head in the center. I have an appt with my PS first thing tomorrow but I am so worried right now so I thought I would bring it to the experts! So, what do you think? Thanks for your help.

Doctor Answers 10

Stitch abscess after tummy tuck

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What you have in the incision is a small suture abscess which can be found around dissolving sutures. The remainder of the suture can be removed by your surgeon and such events are a common nuisance for some. It is best to keep the area clean and lightly covered.

Best of luck,


Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Incisional Concern after Tummy Tuck

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I agree with your assessment that your incision looks good for 5 weeks following your tummy tuck.  I see no sign of necrosis on the photos.  The area that you are concerned about most likely represents  a reaction to a suture placed just under the skin and will be short-lasting.  When you see your plastic surgeon tomorrow, he/ she will be able to reassure you.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Minor Tummy Tuck Complication

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You do NOT have skin death (Necrosis). You are healing beautifully and appear to have most likely a reaction to a deep stitch (aka "spitting suture"). Once the stitch is removed, the wound will heal rapidly. And - do not worry - the removal of the guilty stitch does not hurt.

Peter A Aldea, MD

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

No, don't worry about necrosis

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Necrosis is when a portion of the skin does not survive the surgery. It turns black and leathery. What you have may either be a small stitch reaction, a small stitch infection or a scar that is starting to become thick (it is hard to tell which from the photo).

Although not urgent, you should see your Plastic Surgeon to determine if it needs treatment or not.

Ezat Hashim, MD
Montreal Plastic Surgeon

Healing after tummy tuck

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You have nothing to worry about in all likelihood.  these small areas of delayed wound healing can and do occur and usually heal without any problem. You should call you PS and discuss this to make your mind at ease.

Wound problems after tummy tuck

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What you are showing is not necrosis. Necrosis is death of a part of the skin due to lack of blood supply or infection. Necrosis results in an area of dead skin. It can show up as a blister, which fills with fluid and then it pops, leaving an area of dead skin. The area of dead skin will be purplish to black. What you show is probably a small stitch reaction which your plastic surgeon will guide you through.

Victor Au, MD (retired)
Chapel Hill Plastic Surgeon

The wound is secondary to suture extrusion (spitting)

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Thank you for the question and the photos.  I do not think you have much to worry about.  It looks very much like a small wound secondary to suture extrusion (spitting).  If the suture is visible your plastic surgeon will remove it.  If it is not your body will end up taking care of it as it is likely a dissolvable suture.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Suture abscess not tissue necrosis

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This does not appear to be necrosis rather is appears to be a suture abscess.  You should be seen by your plastic surgeon so that the suture can be removed.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Tummy tuck

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This looks like a small suture that may be spitting. It does not look infected. I am sure that your plastic surgeon will help to put you at ease

David L. Abramson, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon


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necrosis usually occurs in the midline and can lead to separation of the wound. you do not have the typical findings of black, hard, dry shoe-leather skin.  you appear to have a suture abcess, ie sterile abcess, ie suture reaction etc. the name says it all. its a chemical irritation to the dissolving stitch usually due to superficial placement, although it can happen with perfect placement as well.  wash with soap and water, put antibiotic ointment and a band aid usually treats it until the suture is extruded or removed. it may happen in another part of the incision as well. don't worry it shouldn't leave any problems long term. see your doctor. good luck.

Rafael C. Cabrera, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon

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.