Procedure to Repair Torn Mini Tummy Tuck Sutures?

I'm 12 wks post op mini TT and muscle repair and back to normal, full activity since week 8. At 2 wks post op, I sneezed very hard and felt a strong, sharp pain in upper abs and then soreness.

I questioned the surgeon back at 2 wks about tearing and he said "unlikely". Now a bulge in the area is very noticeable and the surgeon says I "probably" did tear and will need a redo. What is the BEST & least invasive procedure possible to fix this problem? I'm thin, very active and always have been.

Doctor Answers 6

Mini-Tummy Tuck should only be done by a very experienced Plastic Surgeon

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Contrary to popular beliefs, Mini-Tummy Tuck procedures can often be more difficult and more artistic than a full Tummy Tuck. A mini tummy tuck is often performed by lesser surgeons such as ob-gynecologists or dermatologists with less experience who don't recognize that the procedure should be more than "tugging" on a little bit of extra skin. If abdominal corset sutures are to be placed, the dissection needs to be taken to the upper abdomen.

It appears like the patient above did not have the dissection taken up to the upper abdomen. This is evident by the pulled appearance of the belly button. This implies that the surgeon did not extend the dissection up to the upper abdomen. Without this dissection, the surgeon can not reduce the fullness in this area and makes placing sutures difficult to impossible.

An experienced plastic surgeon would generally be able to recognize this. At this point, the fullness may be reduced by some localized liposuction; but may require repeating the mini-tummy tuck procedure.

Leesburg Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Mini tuck and muscle repair

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It looks as though the muscles above tore.  But usually in a mini only the lower muscles are repaired unless he made a narrow tunnel to the upper to repair the muscles as well.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

UPPPER abdominal muscles are not usually repaired wiht a mini.

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A limited approach to the upper abdominal muscles through the belly button could be attempted. However, I am confused by your description because upper abdominal muscles are NOT ususally repaired with a mini.

See the video in the link below to learn about the diffferences between the tummy tuck procedures

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Correcting mini tummy tuck sutures

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After a mini talk, patients should expect to have a tight abdomen, much fewer stretch marks or skin sagging and an improved abdominal contour. If you have noticed bulging, especially in the upper abdomen, it is possible that this may be the result of loosening of your plication sutures during your surgery. If this is the case, this may be readily fixed. A small surgery which will lift up the flap of skin will provide exposure to the muscle layer which can be re-approximated with sutures.

Will need surgical repair

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You have a bulge and this can be from the suture getting loose or repair was not extened high. The way your explain ,it is likely that you had torn repair and surgical repair will fix the problem. From the picture looks like that you do not have incision around the belly button.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 reviews

Mini tummy tuck results?

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Thank you for the question and picture.

Unfortunately, something does not make sense. If you had a mini tummy tuck performed,  there would have been no muscle work done above the umbilicus. The bulge that you are experiencing is simply a complication related to tightening of the lower abdominal wall muscles ( and increased pressure transmitted to the upper abdominal wall area). 

You may benefit from plication  of the upper abdominal wall muscles;  please make sure you are working with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon. 

Best wishes.

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.