How Do You Tell if You Tore the Muscle Repair from a Tummy Tuck? 6 Weeks PO

I am 6 weeks PO from having extended tummy tuck w/muscle repair. I have severe depression and tend to over eat at certain times. I got in a depression state right after my tt surgery and been eating toooo much. I am afraid I did damage, I am scheduled to talk to my counselor about my overeating w/stress. Can you please tell me how I would tell or know if I did damage, right now I'm afraid to ask my surgeon because I feel like a failure. Thanks so much

Doctor Answers 5

Tummy Tuck Muscle Repair Tore?

Dear Pam:

If you tear the muscle repair after a tummy tuck it usually hurts, and has the potential to bleed forming a hematoma. This normally happens from sudden movement, heavy lifting, sneezing or coughing, though it may be possible with over distention.

Stretching the repair with overeating and weight gain is a more gradual process. The muscle repair will remain intact; however, the entire abdominal wall will stretch and grow as the belly fills with fat.

Either way, talking with your counselor about your overeating with stress is the way to go. Depression is a serious issue, so the sooner the better. You've had the surgery, and you want  to protect your investment.

Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

How Do You Tell if You Tore the Muscle Repair from a TummyTuck? 6 Wks POAnswer:

If it is just overeating, then you really should be fine! It would take a good amount of force to tear sutures out (like a fall or a forceful sit up)…and in those cases most patients can actually hear or feel a “pop”…And by 6 weeks most of those tissues are pretty well fused together…

John J. Corey, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Tummy Tuck Recovery?

Thank you for the question.

In general, it would take a significant amount of pressure to “tear"  the muscle repair after tummy tuck surgery. This will likely be associated with significant discomfort. It is not likely to happen from “eating too much”.

I would suggest continued follow-up with your surgeon and your counselor to express your questions and concerns. There is really no need to "feel like a failure". Severe emotional ups and downs are quite common after the procedure you have undergone.

 Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,486 reviews

Muscle repair with tummy tuck is quite strong

The typical abdominoplasty will tighten the mucles of the abdomen with very strong sutures.  I have never seen theses break even with strenous activity.  Gradual increase in pressure from inside can stretch tissuses but this happens over an extended time.  You are still quite swollen at six weeks and over the next six weeks you should see a gradual improvement.  It is important to discuss all your issues with your surgeon so that you can have a clear understanding of the progress in healing.

Glenn M. Davis, MD, FACS
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

How Do You Tell if You Tore the Muscle Repair from a Tummy Tuck?

Overeating should not tear out the sutures from a muscle repair at the time of a tummy tuck.  Usually it would require a significant sudden stress on the abdominal wall, and this is not easy to do.  It would also be accompanied by significant pain and maybe even a tearing or popping sensation.  It is good that you are going to work on your overeating problem, as the patients who get the best results after tummy tuck are those who can control their weight. Good luck.

Robert M. Grenley, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 87 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.