How Long Does It Take for the Sutures to Heal in the Stomach Muscle in a Tummy Tuck?

How would you know if the sutures tore through the tissue and let go of the muscle that was tightened up?

Doctor Answers 5

Confirming a tear or failure of the Muscle Repair in a Tummy Tuck

The easiest way to tell if the muscle repair was disrupted is to lay on your back with your right fingers gently pushed in along the tummy mid line just above the belly button. Then, lift your head off the bed and feel up and down for the stitches in the center or for a sudden valley or hole in the center. There should be no sudden such depression along the repair lines. You should feel occasional stitch knots along a flat mid line. A sudden mid line depression is highly suggestive for a muscle repair failure and may require confirmation with an ultrasound or CT.

By 6-8 weeks there should be a good adherence of the skin and muscle repair. The process of scarring goes on for several more months.

Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

sutures to heal in the stomach muscle

Great question. Usually from 3 to 8 weeks for full healing to occur. But the larger the separation between the recti muscles the longer to get a "solid" repair.


Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Muscle repair with tummy tuck: is it permanent and how to tell if it is disrupted ("torn stitches")

The best way to determine this is with a CT scan or Ultrasonic imaging. However, it typcially can be evaluated with a simple head lifting maneuver while laying flat on your back and feeling the edges of the muscle. It typically takes 3 months after surgery to determine if the repair is "solid". Performing core strengthening exercises (Pilates style) help to approximate and keep the muscles in place after the repair

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Healing time for muscle repair with tummy tuck

The muscles that run from the ribs to the pubic bone do not cross the midline so they frequently get pushed apart with pregnancy. No number of situps can pullthen back into alignment, so that is why they are frequently "repaired" with stiches to pull them back into position and strengthen the abdominal wall. When this is done, it is similar to a hernia repair, which we know from experience and studies in general surgery takes about 6 weeks for full healing. It would be very unusual for one of the stiches to pull loose unless you were really straining the muscles, and you would probably have felt a pop.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

8 weeks for muscle healing after a tummy tuck

It takes 8 weeks for the muscle repair in a tummy tuck to gain its full strength.  After that time, I let my patients start isometric exercises and then go on to crunches and full ab work outs.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 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.