4 weeks tummy tuck with hernia & muscle repair. Painful and swollen upper abdomen. Did I tear my muscle repair?

i've been very careful and i am walking a lot(slowly) i feel that my upper abdomen is still very swollen, but its been painful than usual the last 2 weeks. did i tear my muscle repair?i saw my doctor a week ago. and he says everything is fine didn't hear a pop, its just painful, sore, and swollen with a tiny bulge. the bulge was there since right after my tummy tuck. but I'm still worried. don't know if this is normal or if i did ruin my muscle repair.

Doctor Answers 2

Did I tear my muscle repair after tummy tuck?

I am sorry to hear about your concerns after tummy tuck surgery.

Early out of tummy tuck surgery, the concern with your description would be, the potential for disruption of sutures that are holding the abdominal wall muscles together in the midline.  If enough disruption occurs, the result could be separation of the abdominal wall muscles and localized or complete, abdominal wall laxity ( similar to preoperative situation).

In general, it would take a significant amount of pressure to “tear" the muscle repair after tummy tuck surgery. This event would likely be associated with significant discomfort. A change in your physical examination, such as increased swelling, bleeding, a new onset "bulge" would also be likely.

Generally speaking, abdominal wall muscle plication performed during tummy tuck surgery is quite secure; disruption is very unusual.  You will be best off following up with your plastic surgeon who will be your best resource when it comes to accurate assessment, advice, and/or meaningful reassurance.

Best wishes.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Tummy Tuck Muscle Repair

Thank you for your question. It is not easy to tear your muscle repair. Typically, it is sutured with multiple layers of sutures. So in order to tear it completely you would need to disrupt more that one suture. It sounds like you have been careful  and that your doctor is not concerned that you have disrupted your repair. It is not unusual to have swelling at 4 weeks post op.  Continue close followup with your doctor. Good luck. 

Sanjiv Kayastha, MD
Albany Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 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.