Second Tummy Tuck

I had a tt #1 ten(10) years ago, but unfortunately the sutures came undone. I had tt #2 a year ago. 5 weeks after the procedure I developed Atelectasis and chronic cough. Again my sutres were torn. What are the chances of a 3rd tt being succesful.

Doctor Answers 17

Another Tummy Tuck

If I were you, I would really think about another surgery.  Make sure you visit with board certified plastic surgeons who have LOTS of experience with abdominal surgeries and make sure you give them a good history of your previous surgeries.  After discussing potential risks and complications of undergoing surgery again and knowing that you may not get the results you want AGAIN, if you like to proceed, do so.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Failing tummy tuck

after having problems with two tummy tucks, I think it would be wise to take a step back. Your lung problems following your last procedure to me are most worrisome. Getting a good check up by your primary care doctor or a lung specialist would be imperative prior to committing to another procedure.

Jeffrey Kenkel, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Abdominal muscle plication failure.

I will assume the "torn sutures" are referring to the plication of your abdominal muscles. When this happens, it is generally from coughing or exercise during the healing phase. The history of atelectasis and coughing could definitely have contributed to this. As for the issue from ten years ago, it is more likely that you had further attenuation of the muscle repair from increased weight rather than any true "suture failure." Keys to prevention of atelectasis and coughing following surgery are the use of an incentive spirometer to expand the lungs fully. A binder or compression garment can help support the abdominal muscle repair. Also, avoidance of abdominal exercises or strenuous workouts during the first 6-8 weeks will allow for a more successful repair. Given your history, it would seem as though you are at a higher risk of muscle separation than those undergoing the procedure for the first time.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

3 times and your out.

We will assume that the muscle plication tore apart , if this is true it would be difficult to see in any patient. A large area would have to come apart . Without  an exam or at least pictures  it would be hard to tell what you mean when you say the sutures came undone.

Things that could lead to the plication tearing would be poor nutrition, excess intra-abdominal fat or respiratory factors. These things are not likely or your surgeon if he or she is board certified probable would have talked with you about already.

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

Third Tummy Tuck?

Hi Atlanta160,

I'm not sure I've heard of this and it doesn't sound like the rest of the "panel" has either.  It is very disconcerting to hear that sutures tore at all, never mind twice.  Of course, there are risks with all surgical procedures, and those include a disruption of anything that is sutured, whether the muscle fascia (rectus), deeper tissues or the skin.  But twice?  I'm going to assume that your surgeon was a board-certified and appropriately trained and qualified plastic surgeon; in that event I would have to be concerned that you have some underlying medical condition that would make another procedure inadvisable at this point.

However, if you want to start with a complete medical assessment it may be possible to reconsider at some point.  Your plastic surgeon should go over your case carefully with your medical doctor and then - perhaps - you can consider another procedure.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Alan M. Engler, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Tummy tuck

It's difficult to understand why your sutures were torn.  Perhaps it was your fascia which tore.  Your pulmonary problems must first be addressed before undergoing any other procedures. 

Shahin Javaheri, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Do over tummy tuck

Having the sutures tear twice is extremely unusual.  You should defnitely avoid strenuous activity if you have it done again.

David S. Rosenberg, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Tummy Tuck Become undone

Presuming that it is the muscle repair that has come undone, you have to ask yourself how much improvement you can expect from a third operation,and whether the risks and recovery warrant the expected improvement. I would certainly get several opinions before embarking on a third tummy tuck, Good Luck.

Johan E. Brahme, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Torn sutures after Tummy Tuck

You are describing rupture or tearing of  your abdominal plication sutures. When done correctly, this is very rare. In fact, many of us use a double layer of sutures to help minimize this rare event. You said that this happened TWICE, which is even more rare. Possible you have a connective tissue disorder that is preventing the proper healing of this muscle repair.  If you insist on another surgery, make sure to see a board certified plastic surgeon. In fact, see 2 or 3.  You may consider the placement of a mesh or other material to reinforce the repair.

Matthew Schulman, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 324 reviews

Multiple tummy tucks

A failed surgery is very uncommon and two failed surgeries is even more rare.  I would question whether there is some other underlying issue at play.  Please make sure that you are being treated by a board certified plastic surgeon.  


Good Luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 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.