In What Percentage of Tummy Tuck Cases Do MR Stitches Pop?

Just out of neurotic curiosity -- how common is it to pop a muscle repair stitch after a tummy tuck? Does popping a stitch inevitably mean that all the benefits of the muscle repair will be lost?

Doctor Answers 5

Popped sutures following tummy tuck

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Good question.   I am sure that some sutures "pop" or break.   A better question is why did one pop?   Poor technique?  Poor diet and nutrition?   Poor patient compliance with post-operative instructions?   All things being equal, I am always concerned about this possibility.  The major control I have in prevention of this occuring is performing safe surgery techniques, giving appropriate post-operative instructions, and advising the patients to eat properly.  I cannot control patients who exercise or exert themselves prematurely compromising their surgical result.

At surgery, I approximate the muscles with interrupted permanent sutures rather than one long running suture.   If the one long running suture breaks then the suture has the potential to unravel.   This could effect the result of the tummy tuck.  I  believe that over time, some of these sutures may not hold as true as they did when they were originally placed.  Scar tissue grows in, among, around the placed sutures.  This increases the strength of the closure.  Certainly, this strength increases with time after the surgery.  The repair is the "weakest" in the early 2-3 weeks after the surgery.   This is one of the reasons my patients are advised to refrain from vigorous activity in the early post-operative period.

There are many tummy tucks done each year.  Few have popped sutures requiring re-operation.   

Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Tummy tuck suture breakage

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Breakage of sutures to repair rectus muscle diastasis is very uncommon and in most cases causes no problem as after about six weeks the repair depends on scar tissue to keep the muscles together and this is quite strong

Richard Linderman, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon

Popping a tummy tuck stitch

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Done properly with the properly selected patient by an experienced surgeon, the rate should be almost zero, but not totally zero.  I have done about 2-3000 TT's or so and can think of 2 patients where I felt the muscle repair had an area of disruption.

Rupture of muscle repair stitch

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It is not that common for these sutures to break.  They may have been under too much tension.  In most cases it does not affect the final result.  Every case in different though.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Popping a tummy tuck stitch

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the percentage is low. Variables are whether interrupted sutures or one continuous one is used for the repair. How significant of a separation or diastasis one has, the quality of the fascia that holds the sutures, whether one has a hernia present at the same time, the precautions taken by the patient among other factors. WIth interrupted sutures even if one suture pop's the whole repair is not lost.

Rick Rosen, MD
Norwalk Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

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