How Long to Wait to Remove Stitches After Tummy Tuck?

I had a tummy tuck two weeks ago. I got both my drains out the same day which my doc said he NEVER does. My nurse called today to ask some questions she didnt even know both tubes were taken out. she canceled my appts for the next two weeks and told me to come back on the 22nd to get my stiches removed. thats FOUR weeks after my tt date! is that too long to wait? are they going to grow into my skin? PLEASE PLEASE HELP!! thank you.

Doctor Answers 7

Tummy tuck suture removal to prevent scars

I normally use only dissolving sutures under the skin to close the incision from a tummy tuck. If you have sutures that need to be removed, they should be removed within 2 weeks to prevent railroad track scars. Less than 7 days is ideal, but it depends on whether your surgeon used any deeper sutures to prevent the wound from opening up.


Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Timing of Stitch Removal after Tummy Tuck

I agree with my colleagues. A lot of the sequence of events do not really make sense.

Tummy Tuck drains, unlike Facelift drains, are usually kep in more than a day or two until drainage has come down. When permanent stitches are used (most of us use dissolving burried stitches that do not need to be removed), they are removed by 7 days IF they are interrupted, as it sounds like you had, and a little longer if a burried subcuticular (running in the skin). It does not make much sense to leave permanent sutures in that long.

I would advise you to contact your surgeon's office because it sounds like there has been a miscommunication between you.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 97 reviews

Tummy tuck sutures

You describe a puzzling series of events- it sounds like your drains are out and you are doing okay. It would be unusual for non-absorbable sutures to be kept in place for 4 weeks. If you have sutures that you can SEE, and they are holding your incision together, keeping these sutures in place for a prolonged period of time will leave marks on your skin. This business is all about commnication: call up the office and ask to speak to the plastic surgeon. He/she should explain to you the next steps in your treatment plan.

7 to 10 Days... but most stitches are now absorbable.

Absorbable sutures are used in the vast majority of patients who undergo abdominoplasty surgery.Technically, these sutures don’t require removal, but occasionally they work their way to the surface and protrude through the skin.Under these circumstances they need to be removed before they become secondarily infected.These sutures can protrude through the skin at any point in the post-operative course.
These sutures are often placed in the dermis during wound closure.In this position they take tension off the wound closure and minimize the potential for spread of the scars.After two months the wound has regained most of its tensile strength.At this point, these sutures no longer serve a purpose and can be removed without consequences.
In some cases, surgeons utilize non absorbable sutures.These are typically removed in 7 to 10 days but may be left in place for longer periods depending upon the situation.
In this particular case, there appears to be significant confusion regarding your post-operative care.Under these circumstances, it’s imperative that you meet with your plastic surgeon.Hopefully, once your questions are answered, your surgeons rationale will become clear.

Tummy tuck stitches [with video]

I usually use deep absorbable sutures and staples and steri-strips on outside. These latter come out about 5 days after the surgery. Your doctor probably did not realize it would be that long unless they are the absorbable kind of sutures. You may want to call his office.

Edward J. Domanskis, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Suture removal from tummy tucks

Most surgeons will close the TT with entirely absorbable sutures because if you leave external sutures more than one week they will leave railroad track marks on your skin permanently.  Sounds like the office you are going to doesn't have it's act together entirely. 

Suture removal after tummy tuck surgery

This scenario is a little confusing, as we generally use dissolvable sutures during tummy tuck surgery, and non-dissolvable sutures usually come out after one week or so. I suggest calling your surgeon's office and asking to speak to the doctor directly to clarify the timing of your appointments. Good luck, /nsn.

Nina S. Naidu, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 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.