I Am 9 Weeks Postpop After TT And Muscle Repair. Heard Popping After Coughing- Did I Damage Results?

I am 9 weeks post op and had a pretty hard cough today. I felt/heard a pretty pig popping sound in the lower left corner of my abdomen. I am an ICU nurse and have been back to work 2 weeks. It's a very physical job. I've also been running very gently for 2 weeks. I've not had any issues until I coughed today. I'm having minor pain but I think that may be from me pressing on the area trying to feel for any abnormalities. What has happened here and should I be worried?

Doctor Answers 7

Popping Sound after Tummy Tuck

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One possibility is that a dissolvable suture popped (as they will do over time). By 9 weeks after surgery, your own tissue may be well healed so that the suture is not that important. Check with your surgeon to make sure all is healing well.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Concern about breakage of muscle repair in a tummy tuck

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It would not be extremely likely at this point in time that you disrupted your muscle repair. Given your scenario, you should contact your plastic surgeon and have them assess your situation. If you see an obvious bulge in the mid-line of your abdomen that would be concerning; if not, you MAY be OK.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

I Am 9 Weeks Postpop After TT And Muscle Repair. Heard Popping After Coughing- Did I Damage Results?

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Very hard to advise over the internet. Call your surgeon ASAP. Also a soft tissue scan can help.  But at 9 weeks should be welled healed. 

9 weeks post tummy tuck- did I hurt repair

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It is hard to say without a good examination. I would get an evaluation by your surgeon, and then watch the area. I would recommend you wear a support garment or spanx for a few weeks and back off on the exercises and watch your lifting in your nursing duties. There are different ways to do the repair and your surgeon will be able to explain the differences and what they think. I would not rush back the operating room unless things are really obvious.

Rick Rosen, MD
Norwalk Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Popping after tummy tuck

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At nine weeks it is unlikely that you hurt much.  Should have adequate fibrosis in abdominal wall repair.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

If you do not see a bulge you will likely be fine

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The muscle tightening part can be performed in a number of different ways with a variety of different sutures.  The good and bad news of the situation is that the only thing that can be done to repair any damage if needed is to elevate the entire abdominal flap again.  If your abdomen looks the same as before in terms of not having a bulge than you will likely be ok.  I would wear your abdominal binder diligently and tight as this can help both the symptoms as well as support the muscle repair if sutures have been disrupted.

All the best,

Dr Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Tummy Tuck-Muscle Repair Damage?

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Thank you for the question.

As you know, it is not possible to give you good advice without direct examination. Based on your description,  it would be in your best interest to be seen by a plastic surgeon for examination.

The abdominal wall muscle plication  is generally performed  along the midline of the abdomen;  the “popping sound in the lower left corner of the abdomen” would be inconsistent with the disruption of midline sutures that have been used for the muscle repair. 

Generally speaking,  it would be quite difficult to cause enough damage with coughing to significantly disrupt the abdominal wall muscle plication.  Your plastic surgeon will likely be able to provide reassurance once he/she examines you.

I hope this helps.

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.