Is It Easy To Rupture Internal Sutures Post-Op Tummy Tuck, How Would You Know If This Happened?

I am 29 years old and two weeks post-op from an abdominoplasty with an umbilical hernia repair. I want to know if it is very common, or easy to rupture the internal sutures used in a tummy tuck and signs to recognize if so? Also, is it a good idea to restrict caloric intake to avoid weight gain during the recovery phase of a tummy tuck? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 4

Concerns about muscle repair disruption and dieting after a tummy tuck

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At two weeks following your tummy tuck, you are still quite early in the healing process including the repair of the muscles. However, it is generally not that easy to break that repair - it usually requires great force such as protracted and powerful coughing or lifting a very heavy object. The most common physical sign is the  sudden appearance of a bulge of your abdomen where there wasn't one before - and it is often associated with pain. If you feel that any of these apply to you, you should notify your plastic surgeon.

You should not diet immediately after surgery - you need calories and nutrients including protein in order to heal. By restricting these, you can increase the risk for multiple problems including delayed healing, wound breakdown and even infection.


Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Tummy tuck recovery

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No it is not common or easy to “rupture the internal sutures used in a tummy tuck”. This would require a lot of force/pressure. It can be seen however with severe coughing, straining, or lifting  after surgery. if this were to happen the patient may experience pain, actually hear a “pop”, or  experience a bulge in the area of suture separation.  It should be easy to diagnose by your plastic surgeon.

I do not think it is a good idea to restrict caloric intake during the recovery phase of a tummy tuck  although high protein/fiber diet is a good idea.

Down the line it will be helpful to watch your weight  and maintain your exercise regimen.

Thanks for the question.  Best wishes.


Disrupting sutures after tummy tuck.

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Hello, Disrupting Sutures two weeks after a tummy tuck would require a notable force. This force would undoubtedly also disrupt the incision resulting in either an open wound or deep bruise. Disrupting the muscle repair Sutures would also be difficult to do without a significant force. In terms of calorie restriction, you should remember that calorie expenditure is likely to be less with the decreased activity in the post operative period. All the best, Dr Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Can I rupture sutures after tummy tuck?

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Weight control after abdominoplasty, and in general, is a healthy habit.  During the immediate post-surgical period, many patients are anorexic because of narcotics used for pain control.   

Suture placement during hernia repair and during abdominal plication is so variable that it is impossible to answer your question.  If sutures are placed very tightly, fibers of abdominal wall connective tissue may separate  post-operatively with increased abdominal pressure.  During placement of these sutures, your abdominal musculature is completely relaxed.  When you start functioning and applying tension to the plication, there is a process of adjustment that occurs over time to a variable degree for each patient.  Superimposed upon this is "eminent domain" of your organs, which may force relaxation of the plication.  My observation is that smokers tend to lose the results of their plication to a greater degree than non-smokers.  Products of tobacco combustion interfere with collagen synthesis and facilitate collagen breakdown, so this makes sense.

Running sutures, if they pull out, are more likely to affect your result diffusely.  Interrupted sutures, if they pull out, are more likely to affect your result locally, just in one area.

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