Could I have pulled out my muscle sutures? (photos)

I heard a pop this morning while holding my baby. There's no pain but i notice i bulge on the right side of my navel. My tummy tuck is 7 days po. I have been coughing alot too as i keep choking if i talk to loud. I try to hold my stomach as tight as possible while coughing. Like i said no pain but i can feel the sutures pulling

Doctor Answers 12

Possible disruption of muscle repair

Hearing a "popping" when performing fairly heavy lifting may be related to the underlying muscle repair.  It could suggest disruption of one of the plication stitches.  Generally multiple sutures are used for stitching the rectus muscles together in the midline, so even if one or a few stitches were lost your muscle repair may still heal well.  It will take several months before you will be able to judge your aesthetic outcome following tummy tuck.  There is still significant swelling present at one week post-op.  I recommend scheduling follow up with your surgeon to discuss your concerns and continuing to follow his/her recommendations regarding activity restrictions and abdominal binder wear in the interim.

Best, Stephanie Power MD, MSc, FRCSC

Could I have pulled out my muscle sutures?

Your history is concerning; hearing a "pop" and noticing a new bulge is concerning for the possibility of disruption of some sutures. Your plastic surgeon will be your best resource when it comes to an accurate assessment and/or meaningful reassurance. Best wishes.

Did I pop my sutures?

It's definitely a possibility. Be sure to follow up with your board certified plastic surgeon. It's difficult to tell from pictures, because no pre or post prior to hearing the pop were given. Try holding a pillow while coughing to ease the tension on the muscle.

Thank you for your question and for sharing your picture!

Melinda Lacerna, MD FACS

Pop after abdominoplasty

Usually there are many sutures placed during the muscle repair. It is always concerning when a bulge follows after an apparent suture break. As of now there is nothing to do. Let everything heal, and at about 3 months post surgery, check for muscle laxity. If the repair has broken down completely, a fix would be your best bet for the best result. However new charges may apply.

Eric Weiss MD

Eric Weiss, MD, FACS
Orange Park Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Sutures pop

I would wear a compression garment all the time and no exercise.Be aware when you lift and lift with your arms.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Probable pulled out of muscle suture / To prevent damage. Some advices:

Thank you for sharing your concerns with us.

Probably some of the suture is removed, but don't worry, because muscle repair consists of multiple sutures and infrequently they all retired at once.

Postoperative care after a tummy tuck are very important for best results.
To prevent damage to muscle repair, you must avoid any activity to increase intra-abdominal pressure, this means avoiding efforts like carrying much weight or constipation.

Best regards,
Dr. Emmanuel Mallol Cotes.-

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 149 reviews

Could I have pulled out my muscle sutures? (photos)

Yes you mostly likely have disrupted the muscle repair sutures. You needed to strictly follow the post op instructions of NO lifting, holding anything for 21 days! If you were even given any instructions? Now allow healing and the result will be apparent after 3 months post op. If the repair is now lax than only operative revision and new fees will apply. Best to see your surgeon to be examined. 

Could I have pulled out my muscle sutures?

Thank you for the question and the picture. The early post operative period your are in coupled with a pop while holding your baby certainly points to the possibility of having disrupted a suture. However making this diagnosis would require an in-person examination. I would recommend to follow up with your plastic surgeon as they are in the best position to evaluate and treat you. Best wishes. 

Pop feeling at one week

It is certainly possible that you "popped" your plication sutures since you are only one week out from surgery. Best to go see your surgeon.  Good luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

New bulge following tummy tuck

I would certainly keep a close follow up with your physician. Additionally, I would recommend continued use of your abdominal binder if your physician advises.  This will help to compress the abdomen as you heal.  It is impossible to know if sutures that have plicated the rectus fascia have been disrupted.  Hopefully, with a good physical exam, your physician will be able to know.
Good luck!

Jason Hess, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 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.