After a Tummy Tuck What Happens to the Stitches to Repair Ab Separation. I Am 34 Days out and Feel Them More.

When I bend over I get a twinge of pain I feel like is from the stitches used in the ab separation. I had a 2" separation that was closed from the top to the bottom. I have been feeling great but just lately I feel like at the top and middle I feel a couple stitches. Are these permanent? Do they dissolve? What can I expect? I go by to my PS in 2 weeks -- just wondering if it is something I should worry about.

Doctor Answers 8

During Tummy Tuck Permanent Sutures are Used to Repair Muscle Split

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Working Mom,

Be sure to ask your surgeon but typically Permanent Sutures are used to repair a muscle split or Diastasis Recti during a Tummy Tuck.

Most surgeons feel that Permanent Sutures are required to prevent a re splitting of the Muscle as Dissolving Sutures may allow the split to reoccur.

It is not unusual to feel discomfort for 2-3 months but eventually the pain resolves in most people.

Abdominoplasty sututres

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You should check with your surgeon about the type of sutures they used to repair the muscles. Most us permanent sutures which over time become surrounded in scar tissue and usually are not palpable, perhaps unless you are extremely thin. Give it three months from surgery to see if they are still bothersome. Unfortunately, there are no great solutions short of trying to cover them with fat transfer to put more tissue between the sutures and skin or having surgery to remove the sutures.

Todd C. Case, MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon

Palpable sutures after TT

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I use permanent sutures in my abdominal work and even in thin patients, palpability has not been an issue.  That being said, if you are really, really, really thin and they really, really bother you, check with your surgeon about the type of sutures he/she used.  It would be possible to remove permanent sutures maybe after 6 months but it would require opening the area up again. 


Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Tummy Tuck Muscle Repair Suture?

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Thank you for the question.

The sutures used for muscle plication are either permanent sutures or long-lasting absorbable sutures. Either way, the sutures usually do not cause any problems.  You will need to ask your plastic surgeon if permanent or dissolvable sutures were used in your case.  The answer to this question will determine whether you will continue to feel the suture;  if this becomes a long-term problematic issue,  it may have to be removed.

Rarely the sutures may come to the surface; If this does occur, the sutures must be removed.  If it is a single suture this can usually be done in the office under local anesthesia.  If the entire row of sutures are involved,  more anesthesia may be helpful/necessary.

I hope this helps.

Sutures for the muscle repair in a tummy tuck

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Most plastic surgeons use permanent sutures for the muscle repair while the rest use absorbable ones. You will have to ask your plastic surgeon which one he/she used.

You may feel some of these sutures now if your fat layer is fairly thin particularly with some resolution of swelling - so don't worry about this right now. When you see your plastic surgeon, have him/her check the areas of concern.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Feeling Sutures

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Repair of separated muscles of the abdomen are usually permanent . However your surgeon may have done it differently.  He will be able to tell you exactly what he used and what will happen to them.  This is sometimes the case when women do not have a thick fat layer in that area. I would not worry about this.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Stitches from tummy tuck muscle repair

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some surgeons use permanent sutures and others use absorbable sutures. at this point after the surgery you can possibly feel both kinds. In tim , as the tissues between your skin and the muscles heal, the ability to feel those sutures should diminish, whether they are absorbable or permanent type. Nothing to worry about.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Usually Permanent Sutures

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I personally use a non-absorbable suture in plicating the muscles. You may be feeling the knot where the suture is tied. This is usually not an issue unless the patient is very thin. It is possible (although I have not done this), to remove the knot. Definately see your surgeon -  he/she will know exactly what they did. Good Luck!

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