How Long Before Breast Lift and Tummy Tuck Stitches Dissolve?

I had a Tummy Tuck and Breast Lift 2 weeks ago. How long will it take before the stitches dissolve?

Doctor Answers 10


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I'm fascinated with some of the answers from othe surgeons. Okay here is some useful information. The three sutures typically used by plastic surgeons are PDS, Monocryl and Vicryl. PDS and Monocryl are probably the most used.

Monocryl has a short "half-life" as far as strength is concerned losing half of its strength by the end of one week. However, it isn't fully hydrolized or dissolved for 3-4 months.

PDS is longer lasting with 50% loss of tensile strenght by 28 days but is isn't fully hydrolized for 6-7 months.

Vicryl's tensitle strength is approximately 50% between 2-3 weeks and is fully dissovled by 2.5-3.5 months.

When we bury suture and tie it the ends of the suture can "spit" or poke out of the skin. This usually happens around the 4-6 week mark. Removal of the suture at that time has no effect on surgical outcome and is easily removed in the office.

Dissolving stitches after a breast lift and tummy tuck

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The combination of a tummy tuck and breast lift is a wonderful way to rejuvenate the torso and to create a balanced look. For great results, and for the patient convenience and comfort we used absorbable sutures throughout these surgeries. The time in which it takes the sutures dissolve deep runs on the specific suture that was used. In our practice, we typically use thicker and stronger absorbable sutures in the deep layers and a thinner absorbable suture in the skin. Therefore, the deeper sutures will take longer to absorb than the sutures used in the skin layer. Our patients can sometimes notice small balls or lumps in the deep layers of fair tissue. This is the normal body reaction in the deep layers of the skin surrounding the thicker absorbable sutures. This will resolve in 6 to 9 months.

To learn more about tummy tucks, see photos, and help you decide which one is best for you, please visit us at the link below:

Some absorbable sutures can last for 6 to 9 months!

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It’s not unusual for plastic surgeons to use long lasting absorbable sutures when performing breast lift and tummy tuck surgery. These sutures are used in an effort to avoid spread of the scar. They provide support to the wound closure, until the wound has gained adequate strength.
A large variety of absorbable sutures are currently unbailable for wound closed.These sutures each have unique absorption characteristic.It’s not unusual for some of these sutures to last for six to nine months following surgery.
In most cases, this doesn’t represent a problem, occasionally absorbable sutures protrude through the skin following surgery.With appropriate care this should represent a minor problem with no long term consequences.

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Depends on the stitches...

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You should ask your surgeon since there are different types of dissolable sutures that dissolve at differnt rate. Some surgeons use these only under the skin and some use them in the skin itself. Fast-absorbing sutures can dissolve in a matter of days although most sututres used in abdominoplasy will last from a few weeks to a few months.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Suture dissolving

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Sutures that are absorbable are usually placed underneath the skin. Most of the time these sutures hold reasonable strength for a few weeks. Long enough for the wounds to become solid. The sutures gradually dissolve over a period of several months.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Absorbably sutures for breast lift or tummy tuck

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As stated below sutures for the tummy tuck differ from the mastopexy.

Some sutures/staples are permanent but generally removed by 3 weeks at most with the exception of the muscle tightening stitch which may be left in place forever.

Absorbable sutures vary in the amount of time they lose strength and are subsequently absorbed which is usually twice as long as losing strength. Some are absorbed by 3 weeks whereas others can easily persist for up to and beyond 6 months. Generally by 9 months, 100 percent of most sutures are absorbed.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Suture dissolve rates

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Thanks for your question -

As several of the other doctors have mentioned - it depends on the type of material. Your muscle plication may have been performed with sutures that don't dissolve or dissolve very slowly while sutures used in a subdermal or subcuticular closure may dissolve in one to two months.

Ask your surgeon what they used and they should be able to give you an accurate time frame.

I hope this helps.

Different sutures dissolve at different rates

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Different sutures dissolve at different rates. If they are under the skin, you actually want them to stick around for awhile to hold the tension while your skin is healing. In most cases the sutures are dissolve in 2 to 3 months. If for some reason your surgeon put absorbable sutures on the outside, you should have them removed in 7 to 10 days to prevent any scaring from developing. Good luck with your recovery.

Depends on suture material

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A tummy tuck involves the use of different suture material. Some can be meant not to dissolve such as the ones that tighten your muscles. Others used to close your incision will dissolve and that may take several months. Just ask your surgeon and he/she will be able to answer your question with more detail depending on the material they use. If you have visible sutures on the outside of your skin, they will need to be removed by two weeks to avoid leaving suture marks. So discuss this with your surgeon during one of your follow-up appointments.

Bahram Ghaderi, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

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.