Body not healing after Tummy Tuck? Incision site keeps splitting and rejecting dissolvable staples, how do I proceed? (photos)

It was almost all the way healed. Then started slowly opening up and the little white dissolvable stables kept popping out. I am on week 8 and this is my stomach today. Dr says it will heal fine and no need to resuture it. Is that true? It hurts incredibly bad deeper than just topically. Suggestions of how to proceed?

Doctor Answers 7

Spitting stiches and staples after a tummy tuck.

What a bummer.  It looks like your body does not like the Insorb staples used to close your skin.  These staples are made of the same stuff as Vicryl suture and over the years, I've had a few patients who spit every single suture or staple.  The treatment is to remove the offending suture and/or staple, use antibiotics if there is evidence of an infection, do good wound care. If the scar is unacceptable down the line, a scar revision can be done.  You should make note that these staples don't agree with you and should mention it if you have any future surgery.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

How to deal with spitting staples after tummy tuck

I am sure that your own surgeon is interested in helping you get through this with the best possible result. Options are either remove the staples surgically and clean up the wound edges and re-close, or wait it out then revise if necessary.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

When sutures are rejected

and wounds separate, you can only do wound care until it resolves... and it will.  And it will heal better than you could have ever imagined.  Once healed, then you can discuss with your surgeon if any revisions could be of benefit to you.  As difficult as it may be, focus on healing and wound care and you should have a happy ending.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Problems Healing after Tummy Tuck

It may take several months for a tummy tuck patient’s scars to soften, for sensation to return, and for relaxing of the tight sensation in the abdomen. In the case of extensive surgery, abdominoplasty recovery can be uncomfortable and may take longer. Scars may stay red, become thick or widen. It can take 12-18 months for the scars to settle.

These can be improved with topical treatments such as BioCorneum, Scar Guard, Scar Fade and Mederma. Redness can be improved with laser treatments and the scars can be kept narrow with products such as Embrace.  On occasion, keloids or hypertrophic scars can develop and will need treatment including Kenalog, 5FU and laser.

Definitely if you are having problems with your sutures remaining sealed and healing the first visit your should make is to your surgeon right away to have the area examined and ensure whether medication or revision is needed for assistance. I'm sorry to hear about the trouble you are having but to ensure positive healing you should see your plastic surgeon as soon as possible. Good luck.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

Wound Healing


You need to be seen by a competent surgeon (hopefully your own) who can evaluate the wound, remove any dead tissue, and begin a process of wound care, usually saline soaked gauze followed by dry gauze, AKA a 'wet to dry dressing', which you change 2 to 3 times daily.  Closure devices like sutures and stables are bound to fail. Your body has to do that job, and it will. Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Tummy Tuck Wound Care


It is true that re-suturing would be a bad idea and promote infection. At this point you need consistent wound care to keep the area clean and ensure that it heals well from the inside out. Continue to follow up with your Plastic Surgeon.

All the best

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

Wound healing

These wounds should heal.  Your body may continue to spit the sutures or staples.  You should follow your doctors recommendations for wound care and continue to follow up. Once the wound is open, it is common to let it heal on its own and not re-close it. 

Tyler C. Street, MD
Napa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 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.