Thank you for your great question. Although permanent sutures can be used to tighten the abdominal muscles that will not necessarily prevent those muscles from separating again during another pregnancy. Many factors such as the amount of weight gain, the elasticity of your tissues, your body size and shape, muscle tone, as well as how you carry the pregnancy can affect how much separation you can have with your pregnancy. When an abdominoplasty is done and muscles are pulled together the thick tissue overlying the muscle is sutured rather than much of the muscle itself so you shouldn't worry about the sutures "ripping though the muscle". Worst case scenario, if you do have some separation of the abdominal muscles after your pregnancy, you can follow up with your plastic surgeon for a revision.
Certainly pregancy after abdominoplasty is safe whether absorbable or permanent sutures are used. Clearly, some changes will occur to the musculature during pregnancy. Whether the sutures "rip through" would be unlikely but muscle laxity from the pregnancy can occur. Interestingly, I have had several abdominoplasty patients who went on to pregancy after their procedure and experienced very little recurrence of muscle laxity or diastasis (separation of the abdominal muscles).
I always advise my patients to wait to have a tummy tuck when they are done having children. However, if you find yourself pregnant after a tummy tuck, you become a higher risk for the pregnancy and should follow up with an obstetrician who will best manage you through pregnancy.
As with any pregnancy, all bets are off with the quality of your plastic surgery results after the pregnancy, you may get new stretch marks, poor muscle tone, change in breasts, etc... It is best to wait until after pregnancies before investing in a tummy tuck. However, a tummy tuck will not prevent you from having a normal or healthy pregnancy. The stretching is a very slow process so it is unlikely for the sutures to rip through muscles. Good luck!
There is always the possibility to stretch out your abdominal muscles after a tummy tuck if you become pregnant again, regardless of the type of suture used. If there is any intention of having more children in the future, I recommend postponing the tummy tuck until after your are finished having kids. Thank you for sharing your question. Best wishes.
Dr. Gregory Park
What you have to appreciate is that the permanent sutures eventually get loose and lose their holding capacity; what actually happens is that your muscle repair fuses together after it has been held in position with your sutures; after three months, even the non-absorbable sutures lose their tightness; having appreciated this, many surgeons now use absorbable sutures which melt away after three months; So don't worry, when you get pregnant, your muslces and fascia will stretch out to accommodate the growing baby.
Thank you for the question. While many people use permanent sutures for muscle repair in the midline, I have some concerns too. I use long-lasting absorbable sutures instead, such as PDS. By the time the sutures dissolves, the muscle (fascia) will have healed well enough. Talk to your doctor.