Infection of the incision after a tummy tuck
Infection is a potential complication that can occur after any type of surgery. When it comes to the tummy tuck, it is very important to keep infections at bay as they might trigger other unwanted complications that could be life-threatening for the patient.
The main incision of a tummy tuck is located on the suprapubic area, on the lower part of the abdomen and can extend from hip to hip and even to the flanks in the case of a complete or extended tummy tuck. Another incision might be performed around the navel in case it needs to be repositioned. Due to the position of the incisions, it is very important for the patient to be dedicated to keeping the surgical site clean and dry at all times. Moreover, the patient will also have two drain tubes inserted close to the surgical site for a few days following the procedure. The drain tubes are used to allow the body to evacuate fluids and blood that could otherwise accumulate at the incision site and trigger other complications such as seroma and hematoma. While the drain tubes do not cause infections in a vast majority of cases, a contamination of bacteria could occur if the patient tries to remove them at home.
During the pre-operative consultation or after the procedure, the plastic surgeon will tell you how to determine if you have developed an infection or not. You need to pay special attention to symptoms such as high fever, redness of the incision area, yellow liquid coming from the incisions site, excessive swelling of the incisions, as well as abnormal levels of pain. While it is normal to feel a certain level of pain and discomfort after any type of surgery in general, the pain shouldn’t be intense and should subside when using medication. If the pain is sharp and associated with one or many of the other symptoms mentioned, it is important to contact a doctor or your plastic surgeon for a proper diagnostic.
An experienced plastic surgeon will often give antibiotics to the patient undergoing surgery via IV and will also prescribe antibiotics treatment for five more days after the procedure. Antibiotics have the role of preventing potential infection. If an infection occurs, antibiotics will also be prescribed to treat it. If the antibiotics doesn’t work, a surgical intervention might be performed to clean the area.
Infection of the incision after the tummy tuck is not a common occurrence nowadays, especially if you follow the recommendations of an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon who is able to guide you through this process. However, the patient should be careful with any signs of infection and call a medical professional in case any of the symptoms occur.