Tummy Tuck Sutures Possibly Torn?

I am 15 days PO from a full Tummy Tuck, muscle repair, and Liposuction. I was swollen on the lower half and flat at the top. My swelling was nearly gone at day 11 and then at day 12, I woke up very puffy upper and lower. What would have caused my swelling to happen late? Could this be the sign of torn stitches? I have no direct pain, just generalized irritations. No bruising in center abs, only around incision and pubic area. What could have caused this? And what are the signs an symptoms of torn sutures?

Doctor Answers 4

The most likely answer is a seroma

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Sometimes after the drain is removed patients will accumulate fluid beneath the abdominal flap. This is easily taken care of with repeated aspirations with a small needle. It could also be swelling in the tissue.

Your surgeon should be able to tell the difference with a physical exam.

Hope this was helpful,

Dr T

Winston Salem Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Muscle repair sutures can tear after tummy tuck

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The sutures used to repair or tighten the abdominal muscles during abdominoplasty or tummy tuck can pull out after surgery and allow a bulge to form on the tummy acutely after the tummy was previously flat after surgery. The only way to tell is for your doctor to examine you. This would normally only happen after exertion and stressing the abdominal muscles as in lifting. This is an unusual complication.

New bleeding would have caused pain.

A seroma or fluid collection can certainly cause thois appearance, but I would have expected a post tummy tuck seroma to have occurred gradually and not overnight.

See your doctor as soon as possible--if it is a seroma, it will need to be drained; the sooner, the better.

Very difficult to say without direct examination

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Hi there-

I don't think I could responsibly attempt to answer your question without examining you and knowing more about your course (in other words, without an understanding of how your exam has changed over time)- the only person who might be able to answer the question for you is your surgeon. I would call him or her and pay a visit to the office for an evaluation.

Likely not...

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It's too early to tell, but the lower part of the abdomen is very prone to swelling for months after a tummy tuck.  The more likely explanation would be a fluid collection (seroma) or just edema that would go away with a compression garment.  As always, check with your surgeon.  Good luck!

Robert S. Houser, DO
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 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.