Dissolvable Staples in Tummy Tuck Incision

I am 4 weeks post-op from a mommy makeover. my doc used dissolvable staples under the skin but now they are painful and they are creating holes and popping out of my incision. He has removed 3 full ones and many other small partial ones. Is there a chance they will still dissolve or will my doctor have to remove them? is there anything i can do to help them dissolve. Help! Also the holes in the photos were infected so i have been using iodine and took a round of antibiotics as well.

Doctor Answers 5

Dissolvable Staples After a Tummy Tuck

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If you have had only a few staples 'spit' then most of the other staples are dissolving and you will most likely not need to have many more removed.  I would not put iodine in a wound.  If you have a superficial infection, antibiotics and local gentle wound care should take care your your problem.  Iodine may kill the helpful cells trying to clear the infection.

San Antonio Plastic Surgeon

Absorbable skin staples in tummy tuck "spitting."

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These staples are probably the Insorb skin staples, which are designed to absorb in the tissues just like absorbable sutures. Of course, these are slightly firmer and bulkier than suture material, since they are actually "stapled" by a clever surgical device. They are designed to both save time (and thereby cost), but still give a good cosmetic result.

Of course, if they are placed slightly too close to the surface of the skin, they can erode through the surface, dry out, and dissolve more slowly, as well as occasionally allowing skin bacteria to cause superficial abscesses. Iodine and antibiotics are the proper care for this, and those that dissolve will do so gradually over several weeks. Stretch marks have very thin epithelium, and are more difficult to close accurately, so these problems could occur more commonly with sutures as well as skin staples, in patients with many stretch marks. Those staples that erode through the surface will continue to require local care, but will almost certainly not impair your final result, except for the scar itself, which may be slightly more irregular or discolored when all is said and done in the healing process.

Scar revision may be an option for better results, but not until 6 months has been allowed to pass. (There goes the time and cost savings, by the way!) Best wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Absorbable staples for tummy tuck incision

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Your surgeon probably used an Insorb stapler, which is designed to place absorbable staples within the deeper layers of the skin.  Absorbable staples, like absorbable sutures, are occasionally pushed out by the body ("spit") before they can dissolve.  There is nothing you can do to help them dissolve; the remaining staples may be absorbed or may "spit".

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship.  You should continue to follow-up with your plastic surgeon in order to receive formal evaluations and maintain your doctor patient relationship.

Craig S. Rock, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

You will be fine

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The problem with the absorb-able staples is the spitting. i would suggest that you continue to follow up with your surgeon and if needed your surgeon be happy to do a scar revision.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Tummy Tuck and dissolvable staples

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You may be referring to an Insorb stapler device.  This device may be used to approximate the soft tissues under the skin, saving operative and anesthesia time.  Sometimes, some of the dis solvable staples may "spit" out and need to be removed.  This does not imply that all of the staples are going to come out.  Others may be perfectly fine.  Continue to follow up with your plastic surgeon for continued post op care.   

Stephen Delia, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon

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.