A Little over 3 Weeks Post-op Tummy Tuck and Breast Lift. My Surgeon Told Me to Do Scar Therapy.

He gave me a cream to apply to incisions two times a day. He said to massage cream into skin with enough pressure to pop stitches under skin. I have searched internet for this topic and found nothing. I have popped one it feels weird but dont hurt. I am nervous to do this because I have found no information on it. Is this normal standard procdure? Could I damage anything by popping stitches?

Doctor Answers 15

After Mommy Makeover gentle massage and topical solutions are best scar therapy

Starting at two to three weeks after a Mommy Makeover, gentle massage will help soften the scars associated with a Mommy Makeover. Topical solutions such as Scar Guard can also help lessen the redness of scars.

If painful red raised lumpy scars develop you may have a Hypertrophic Scar-usually not seen before six weeks. If this occurs non ablative Erbium 1540 Laser treatments and IPL treatments can help.

Firmly pressing scars to "pop' sutures sounds excessive to me and could injure the healing tissue, possible cause bleeding and worsen your scar.

Gentle massage is best.

Scar therapy

The gold standard for scar therapy is silicone sheeting. There are several companies that make this.

Michael Hueneke, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Scar Management after Mommy Makeover

Hi there-

I'm not sure that if you were my patient I would want you rubbing so hard that you were popping sutures, but the truth is that only your surgeon knows what has been successful in his practice and with his techniques in the past.

We all have our preferences for how to maximize our patient's outcomes, and so I would not want you getting advice from anyone but me if you were my patient...

Therefore, I would recommend you contact your surgeon's office if you are still not sure about the plan or the recommendations.

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

A Little over 3 Weeks Post-op Tummy Tuck and Breast Lift. My Surgeon Told Me to Do Scar Therapy.

I see no reason to rub hard enough to pop any sutures out, but there are creams such as Mederma or ScarGuard that do help the scars fade a bit faster.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Scar therapy after surgery

The quality of the scar after surgery has many factors 1) genetics, 2) technique, and 3) after care.  The most important in most cases is the genetics and patient factors.  Unfortunately, this we have no control over.

Techniques to avoid tension at the level of the skin and dermis can minimize scar formation.  Using internal suturing techniques without external "track marks" can improve the scar quality.

After care is the least important but the only part the patient has any ability to control.  I like to leave surgical tape in place for 3 weeks to limit tension and stretching on the scar, hydrate, and protect the scar.  Thereafte, I like Mederma for typical scars, stepping up to scar guard or silicone sheeting at the first sign of a raised scar.

"popping" the sutures with massage would only contribute to a wider scar in my opinion.

York Jay Yates, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Scar massage therapy

I generally recommend scar massage therapy starting around postop week 4 to 6.  The mechanical motion massaging the scar helps to soften the collagen and scar tissue inside your incision.  Although I do not recommend trying to pop any sutures.   In addition, silicone gel strips applied as stickers to your incision have been shown to have a role in accelerating the scar maturation process.  Best of luck

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 209 reviews

Scar therapy

Scars tend to get red, thick, hard or dopey feeling for up to three months before they tend to soften, flatten and fade in color. This process can take up to a year or two to get as good they are going to get. Usually the use of scar products is initiated after three weeks after surgery.

Todd C. Case, MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Scar massage after tummy tuck and breast lift

Scar massage is one way to help guide the scarring process.  I would also wait until three weeks before starting this.  The degree of pressure tends to be lighter than "enough to pop stitches".   An alternative would be to use silicone sheets.  This provides the incisions/scars with a moist environment to heal.

Young R. Cho, MD, PhD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Tummy Tuck Scar Management?

Thank you for the question.

What you describe is probably not “normal standard procedure”. You may want to ask your plastic surgeon the rationale behind this treatment.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,485 reviews

Sounds a bit early to me

its hard for me to understand why any surgeon would want you to massage your incision so hard that stiches would "pop."  why put stitches in in the first place if you're going to pop them with massage?  i usually start scar cream, GENTLY massaged into the scar but i like to wait until 3-4 weeks after surgery when any scabs mights have fallen off.  good luck with your recovery!

Eric Chang, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 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.