Alternative for Metal Sutures Used to Close Tummy Tuck Sutures?

Are metal staples used to close Tummy Tuck incision? If so, is there an alternative for someone like me who is allergic to those metal staples.

Doctor Answers 11

Incision closure after Tummy Tuck

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I would not use metal staples to close a Tummy Tuck incision. In general, a closure technique that places all the sutures beneath the skin gives a better result. External sutures or staples that go thru the skin usually end up with more scarring.

Minimizing scarring is typically one of the top goals of plastic surgeons. I wouldn't recommend going to a plastic surgeon who uses external metal staples to close the incision. in my opinion the only advantage of external staples is saving time. Our goal is to get the patient the best scar possible.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Sutures used in tummy tucks

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Most surgeons use dissolvable sutures that you can't see. The skin is typically covered with a type of tissue glue or steri-strips(butterfly tapes). This done to avoid having additional scarring from use of staples or external sutures. There are many alternatives available. Discuss with your surgeon what type of closure they prefer and let them know your concerns. Anything that you are allergic to would not be used in surgery.

Bahram Ghaderi, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Metal Staples Are An Unusual Choice to Close A Tummy Tuck

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Staples would not be my first choice because of potential scarring. I prefer a stitch that absorbs and stays under the skin. I use glue for the top layer to allow patients to shower right after surgery ,and this also keeps the area clean.

Staples are fast, so I'd question the priorities of your surgeon if they insisted on this technique.

John LoMonaco, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 276 reviews

Most of the surgeons I know do not use metal staples for closure of abdominoplasty

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Closure of tummy tuck incisions in my Santa Rosa practice is done with an absorbable suture that does not show. All that needs to be removed is a knot at either end of the incision. I do not know many surgeons who close tummy tucks with staples, but you can always ask for our surgeon not to use them.

Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Metal staples are not routinely used in tummy tucks

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In general, metal staples used in a tummy tuck incision lead to a very poor appearing scar. For that reason, most plastic surgeons, myself included, avoid using these during abdominoplasty. If you think about, tummy tuck is an entirely elective procedure designed to improve your appearance. Giving a patient a scar that looks ugly is not consistent with the goals of surgery. If a surgeon routinely uses metal staples to close his tummy tuck incision, my fear is that he is more concerned with saving time during the closure and less concerned about the ultimate appearance of the incision.

Hope this helps. Best of luck.

Tummy Tuck Closure

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I would run the other way if you see a plastic surgeon that closes the incision with staples.

Most plastic surgeons use sutures that are placed just under the skin to close the tummy tuck incision.  These sutures are not visualized and are absorbable.

Good luck.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Metal staples are not routine for a Plastic Surgeon.

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It would not be routine for a Plastic Surgeon to close a Tummy tuck with metal staples. It is more common to use a running subcuticular suture technique.

There is also currently available a subcuticular staple that saves OR time and I believe leaves a scar that is better than the routine vicryl suture closure. After the INSORB staples are placed the skin is closed at the edge with a running 4-0 vicryl suture.

You need to ask the surgeon who said that he would use the metal staples why he would in your case.

Walter D. Gracia, MD
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Alternative for using metal staples to close tummy Tuck incision?

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Plastic surgeons live and die by the appearance of their work. Very few of us and no one that I personally know still uses metal staples to close wounds. Staples are quick but always leave classic railroad dots along the scar if left in place more than a few days. The custom still persists with some general surgeons and orthopedic surgeons who may not be as focused on their scar appearance.

A MUCH better scar results from careful handling of the tissues and closure with a dissolving suture (such as Monocryl or PDS) inside the top layer of he skin.

I would make sure your surgeon follows the preferences espoused by every single post here.

Good Luck.

Peter A Aldea, MD, FACS

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Metal staples for tummy tuck closure? No.

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Metal staples are sometimes used in surgery to close a wound quickly. The metal staples are known to leave behind marks that do not look as good as closing  the wound with sutures. I do not know any plastic surgeon who would use staples on an elective tummy tuck. 

Make sure the surgeon you are going to is a board certified plastic surgeon.

Please do make your surgeon aware of any allergies of medical conditions that you have.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Staples for Tummy Tuck Closure

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I think you have us plastic surgeons confused with another surgical specialty.  I guess you could use staple but I think most plastic surgeons used buried, absorbing suture that doesn't need to be removed.  It gives better strength over a longer period of time than anything that would need to be removed.

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