Could Vomiting After Tummy Tuck Cause Injury?

8 weeks ago I had a tummy tuck, I had the stomach flu and was throwing up for 24 hours. Now I am afraid I hurt something. I am feeling very sore and burning. How do I know if I hurt something or could that be possible?

Doctor Answers 6

Could Vomiting After Tummy Tuck Cause Injury?

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Congratulations on having undergone the tummy tuck procedure.
In general, it would take a significant amount of pressure to “tear" the muscle repair after tummy tuck surgery. This event would likely be associated with significant discomfort. A change in your physical examination, such as increased swelling, bleeding, a new onset "bulge" would also be likely.

Generally speaking, abdominal wall muscle plication performed during tummy tuck surgery is quite secure; disruption is very unusual.

Best wishes.

Did vomiting ruin tummy tuck muscle repair?

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The tummy tuck muscle repair is generally set after 8 weeks and it is unlikely that you disrupted the sutures. However, it is possible and you may want to set up an appointment with your surgeon to evaluate your abdomen for possible breakdown of the repair. 

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

Vomiting and tummy tuck

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At 8 weeks you should be OK.  Vomiting certainly in the early post-op period could cause tears in the diastasis repair. Pain at 8 weeks is probably normal but I would follow up with your doctor.

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

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Vomiting can affect a tummy tuck result

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Tummy tucks are a very popular and effective technique to contour the abdomen. Patients who undergo this procedure should understand that there is a significant recovery process. Immediately after the tummy tuck, care must be taken to not put undue stress or tension onto the abdominal wall, especially if a muscle repair has been performed. We ask our patients not to lift more than 5 pounds for the first month at half and we provide two separate garments to every patient to help them manage the swelling and provide additional support for their comfort.

Vomiting can cause undue pressure on to the muscle layer of the abdomen and can cause the rupture of several sutures.Discuss your concerns with your surgeon. Depending on the technique he used there may be several layers of suture to ensure a stable result. However, if you have a significant and noticeable bulge, you may benefit from a small revision surgery to retighten your muscles once you're done healing.

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:

Possible for vomiting after Tummy Tuck to cause injury, but probably not

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Vomiting involves muscular movement of just about the entire abdominal wall, an area in which sutures are placed during tummy tuck surgery. it is possible you could disrupt the muscular repair by vomiting shortly after a tummy tuck operation.

With this being said, I have not seen this happen before even when patients had problems with vomiting shortly after the surgery. Have your doctor follow you along of course.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon


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Hi there-

I'm sorry you were so sick. The risk that you injured yourself or compromised your tummy tuck result really depends on how far removed from the operation you were when the vomiting started.

The earlier in the recovery period, the higher the risk that your muscle repair had not become strong enough to support strong retching and that this caused your repair to fail.

After 6 weeks, however, the repair should be quite strong and the risk low, in which case the discomfort is probably related to stretching of the underlying scar tissue during the vomiting.

It should be fairly obvious whether or not your repair is intact, though... if you have disrupted the sutures, I would expect to see a round shape where you had previously been fairly flat.

In any case, the best person to advise you would be your surgeon, who has the benefit of knowing the details of your surgery, and can, after an examination, determine if you have experienced a change in contour.

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.