Did I Pop an Internal Stitch After my Tummy Tuck? (photo)

I am 2 1/2 weeks post op from a full tummy tuck and breast augmentaion a and feel great. I'm walking strait up and back at work. This morning I felt the need to stretch before I got out of bed and felt a pop under my left rib with slight pain. I didn't stretch real hard, but now I'm worried I may have torn something. I haven't noticed any bulges or bruising, is it possible I did real damage? I don't want to call my doc on the weekend.

Doctor Answers 10

Popping stitches after tummy tuck?

At two and half weeks after a tummy tuck and after a good stretch it may be scar tissue.  It could have been a suture.  Best to see your doctor, but may be difficult for him to tell as well.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Check in with your surgeon, popped stitch not likely without swelling/bruising.

A popping sound following abdominoplasty can occur for a variety of reasons.Although it may result from disruption of the muscle repair, it may also occur when scar adhesions become disrupted.
Although it’s possible that your muscle closure is compromised, this seems unlikely without swelling, bruising and the presence of a bulge in the area.
Nevertheless, it’s appropriate to consult your plastic surgeon.Your surgeon should be able to evaluate your abdomen and hopefully, alleviate your anxiety.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Doubt that a suture popped

At 2 1/2 weeks it would be unlikely that a suture popped. You will only be able to be reassured if your PS sees you. Truthfully though I've never seen that.

M. Scott Haydon, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Did I Pop an Internal Stitch

Even if you did, it seems from your description and the photo that there is no harm. More likely you pulled apart an adhesion forming between the abdominal wall and the overlying skin. Do check with your surgeon. Nothing is urgent here, but when something doesn't seem right, only your surgeon can help you decide whether or not you need to be seen,,and when.

Best wishes.

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

Pop Under Left Rib 2.5 Weeks after Mommy Makeover

     A pop by the rib without a change in contour, swelling, or shape may be nothing at all and probably is.  However, plastic surgeons always want to be kept apprised of their patients.

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

Question after surgery....even on weekend

If you have a question or concern after your surgery, you should call your surgeon no matter the day or time. Answering your questions and addressing your concerns - even on weekends - is part of our service. None of us will be able to adequately answer your question without examining you or knowing exactly what was done during your surgery.

Matthew Schulman, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 324 reviews

Stitch "pop" after Tummy Tuck

I would consult with your PS.  It appears via your pictures and by your description that all is fine but still would call PS. You are not bothering your doc I'm sure he/she would rather know.

Dr. ES

Did I Pop an Internal Stitch After my Tummy Tuck?

Best to call your surgeon whatever the time it is. Now go be seen by him/her ASAP to be examined and explanation of what occurred 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Real damage would likely be noticeable


Thank you for the question and photos.  The sensation you felt could be a suturing breaking but it may also be a small vein or nerve severing near the border of where the dissection stopped.  If you do not see bruising, swelling, or a change in the contour of your abdomen you did not likely create any damage.  I would take reassurance in this and continue to follow your doctors recommendations for now.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 162 reviews

Sutures breaking after tummy tuck

Hello. It is possible that a plication suture used to bring your abdominal muscles together popped, but it could have been a small vessel or scar tissue as well. It is best to call your doctor to be sure that no real damage occurred. He will understand your concern so don’t be afraid to call on the weekend.


Jaime Perez, MD
Mommy Makeover Specialist
Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 75 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.