Did I Pop a Stitch on my Abdominoplasty? (photo)

I had an abdominoplasty without lipo 4 days ago. On day 2 I stretched forward without thinking to catch a glass that my son had dropped. I felt a sharp twinge but didn't hear a pop. I didn't think anything of it but my upper abdomen is swollen and has a bruise 2 inches from the midline. Is it likely that I popped a suture? Also, is swelling normal given that I had no lipo?

Doctor Answers 5

Suture Break after Tummy Tuck?

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Unfortunately, based on your clear description of the events that have occurred,  it is possible that a stitch has broken. Follow-up with your plastic surgeon for in person examination.

The good news is,  that even if a stitch did break,  this does not necessarily mean your end results will be compromised. Usually, there are multiple sutures ( and often 2 layers)  used to perform the muscle plication  during tummy tuck surgery.

Again, follow up with your plastic surgeon who is in the best position to advise and (hopefully) reassure you.

Best wishes.

It is possible

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During your abdominoplasty typically sutures (stitches) would have been used to narrow the separation of your rectus muscles (diastasis recti).  If you had a full abdominoplasty, they would have been placed all the way up to your rib cage, if a "mini", only part way to around the level of your belly button (unbilicus).

It is certainly possible that a suture may have loosened with a sudden movement, but it does not mean that you will loose the full repair.  Swelling and bruising is of course normal early postop but it may be worsened by a new minor tissue trauma. 

You should contact your surgeon and will probably be seeing him/her in the next few days anyway to discuss your concerns.  A compression binder should be worn early on as it is comfortable and helpful for support of the repair as well as to help control the swelling   

Good luck.  You should be ok and your experience is not uncommon.

David J. Levens, MD
Coral Springs Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Ask your plastic surgeon and see what they think

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I would advise you to contact the surgeon who performed your surgery and notify him or her of this event.  While unlikely that you would have torn apart your muscle repair, that is one consideration.  The best person to help you answer this question is the surgeon who did your procedure.

Good luck.

Did I "pop a suture"

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Whether or not you "popped" a suture, I wouldn't do anything right now.  You should see your surgeon and follow his instructions.  Those instructions are fiven for a reason.

Randy Proffitt, MD
Mobile Plastic Surgeon

Popped Suture

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At this point, I would continue to follow up with your surgeon.  He will best be able to tell if anything is wrong.  At this point, I would just let everything heal.  Swelling is normal even without lipo.

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.