Lump After Tt Ten Years Ago?

I had tummy tuck 10 years ago. 2 years ago I had swelling around incision went to ps and they found permanent suture that apparently was the problem. 2 months ago same thing happened so I went to urgent care they put me on antibiotics and it calmed down but never completely went away. I went back to ps and this time they had to recut me about 2" to find the culprit. Now I have a lump that keeps getting bigger higher up on my belly. Pleas tell me what's up. Ps appointment in am.

Doctor Answers 4

Suture granuloma can occur in rare instances

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Usually, as part of the muscle tightening during a tummy tuck, permanent sutures are used.  These sutures are necessary to hold the muscles tight over time.  In a small subset of patients, internal stitches can cause irritation and inflammation to the surrounding tissue even years after the tummy tuck.  The tissues surrounding the suture can become irritated causing an inflammatory response and the entire area can become swollen and red.  The treatment for this is removal of the stitch and antibiotics.  In a great majority of patients, this happens only once but in some, it can be recurring.  Although it is a nuisance, suture granulomas are treatable and will not ultimately affect the results of the tummy tuck.

Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Suture Granulomas Ten Years after Tummy Tuck

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You already know what the problem is, and are wise to return to your plastic surgeon to resolve it.  The permanent sutures want to extrude.  If they are wrapped around deep tissue, the body tries to wall them off, and a chronic inflammatory reaction develops.  If bacteria are there, this will not resolve until the foreign material (sutures) are removed.

Worrying is non-productive.  Just have your plastic surgeon take care of the problem.  Reoperating to remove the sutures, in my opinion, is the best way.  At the same time, your result can be improved, and insurance may cover it because it is not a cosmetic problem, but a medical problem: retained foreign bodies and possibly infection in the abdominal wall. If you have surgery to remove the sutures, of course, absorbable sutures must be used for closure, NOT permanent sutures.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Lump After Tt Ten Years Ago

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It sounds like the same thing again, for a third time. Some patients who get this problem with permanent sutures have it once, and some keep getting suture infections until finally the incisions are reopened in surgery and all permanent sutures can be removed.

I wish you the best in resolving this problem. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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Suture granuloma

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Some patients have ongoing reaction to permanent suture material. Depending on the severity and frequency of these issues, you could hav al the permanent sutures removed and replaced with absorbable suture material, have more limited surgery on the section that is problematic (understanding that you may need additional procedures at a later date) or try to take an even more conservative approach with antibiotics to temporize the situation.

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.