Muscle Repair Re-do Advice

I think my muscle repair has failed after almost two years, which I understand is unusual. If I need it re-done, what type of stitching should I get that will not fail? I had a continuous stitch the first time. Also, should I have mesh? Is it wise to tighten 4 layers after a muscle repair fail? I am not overweight and it was to repair stretched skin and muscles after childbirth. I now suddenly have bulging after two years of flatness. I also have pain and weakness in muscle. I just want my strong flat stomach back.

Doctor Answers 3

Tough problem...

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The repair, even a repeat, usually does not justify using mesh. It depends on what caused the failure, so part of your examination is a review of your general health as well as the circumstances after surgery. There can be early suture failures that are not noticed for awhile after surgery due to excessive swelling or perhaps a woman has lost more weight after surgery and things have loosened (neither sound like your situation). Interrupted sutures (as opposed to running) is a little insurance in case one breaks. That way they don't all fail. Permanent sutures are also preferred by many but these are usually just holding things in place until they heal. I would encourage you to see your original surgeon (assuming he/she has all the right credentials) as well as seeking another local opinion. Good luck!

Fascial relaxation

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The "muscle" repair is really tightening of the strong fascia that lines the muscles. The fascia can stretch over time. Some people have weak tissue in general that can cause the fascia to relax more. I do not recommend mesh unless you have a true hernia" a hole in the fascia lining". I prefer permanent type suture with both running and interrupted closure. You should have your surgeon examine you to decide the best approach.


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This is a bit complicated and not easily answered without the luxury of full history and examination.  It's in your best interest to consult with an American Board of Plastic Surgery certified surgeon (perhaps more than one) in your area.  To find names, go to:

Edmond A. Zingaro, MD
San Francisco 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.