Tummy Tuck Torn Stitches?

Hi. I had a tummy tuck performed in Sept2011.Since Nov2011 I noticed a bulge under the belly button area. It took until Oct2011 to get an explanation. Dr says my muscles stitches have unexplainably torn. I've shown him the strange pointing out belly it does when I lye down and push. Anyhow he said he made the single stitch technic. My question:now that he will repair it, should I ask for multiples stitches? We found no obvious reason for the stitch to tear. I don't want it to break again!Thx.

Doctor Answers 8

Separation Of Muscle Repair after Tummy Tuck?

I'm sorry to hear about the complication you have experienced after tummy tuck surgery. Hopefully you are working with a board-certified plastic surgeon. Depending on whether he used a single layer of “running” or “interrupted” sutures he will be able to re approximate the abdominal wall muscles that have apparently separated.

 In my practice, the  “repair” of abdominal wall diastasis  is done in 2 layers.It won't hurt to express  your concerns in a constructive fashion.

 Best wishes.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Running Suture or Interrupted Sutures in Tummy Tuck Plication

   One running suture if broken would not produce a tiny area of recurrence.  This is more likely one stitch among many that was compromised.  Realize that this compromise was probably not the result of technical error.   I see about 2 patients in 100 who have such weak fascia that stitches tear through the fascia as they are placed.  Very poor fascia may not be able to sustain the repair.

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Tummy Tuck Torn Stitches?

Expressing your concern and suggestion is completely reasonable. A second layer probably will make a recurrence less likely.

Thanks for your question, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews


The diastsis repair can be done with a single or double layer of sutures. They can also be done with running or interrupted sutures. They can all break with straining and force

Norman Bakshandeh, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Bulge After Tummy Tuck

Did you ever hear a "pop" postop?  Any activity that increases intraabdominal pressure--from straining to coughing--can cause breaking of the muscle plication sutures.  I like to use multiple nonabsorbable ones.  This way, if one breaks, the result is not compromised.  Hope this helps.

Peter J. Simon, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Single stitch

having an abdominal wall problem is not an unusual occurence.  there are many acceptable ways to correct this..  relax and take it easy postop so it has a good chance to heal the way you want it to

Jonathan Saunders, MD
Newark Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Torn stitches and a bulge?

I'm glad you already discussed this with your plastic surgeon. You should continue to maintain a close relationship with your surgeon, as they are familiar with your anatomy already. As far as the suture breaking, that is uncommon. A more common scenario is that some of the tissue has re-stretched. Either way, it can be addressed by your plastic surgeon. Be sure that you have not gained any weight since surgery and be realistic about your results. A commonly used technique for muscle repair involves a 2-layered technique. If you decide to have revision surgery, you should discuss all the options for closure, contemplate the risks, and decide in consultation with your PS.

Aldo Guerra, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 202 reviews

Before performing a secondary surgery, you may need an ultrasound to assess the reason for the Tummy Tuck Torn Stitches

Before performing a secondary surgery, you may need an ultrasound to assess the reason for the tear - if an hernia or diastasis of the rectus muscle has taken place. Sometimes the bulge is due to fat accumulation connected with lymphatic stasis in the area and permanent swelling. Permanent stitches or running continuous stitches is a preference of the surgeon. I do not think it makes any difference in the final outcome.

I emphasise that it is crucial to assess the reason of the tear prior to moving forward with any next steps.

Alberto Di Giuseppe, MBBS
London Plastic Surgeon
3.4 out of 5 stars 25 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.