Did I rupture a stich in my abdominal wall due to vomiting? (Photo)

I had a tummy tuck, lipo, and muscle repair 2 1/2 weeks ago. The day of surgery I guess I had an allergic reaction to percocet which caused vomiting. That same night I vomited and felt something weird in my upper abdomen it got swollen and bruised for a bit. But the swelling is less after I wake up and gets worse by night. My surgeon says it's blood and fluid that I have and did not pull a stich but I don't see the bulge improving after 2 1/2 weeks. How to know it's blood and fluid and not a stich

Doctor Answers 3

Did I rupture a stich in my abdominal wall due to vomiting?

It's too early to tell one way or the other.  Commonly patients have swelling in the area you are referencing particularly if they have attendant liposuction along with TT.  You are going to have to wait 3 months to see if this resolves and some swelling may take 6 months.

Did I pop a stitch after tummy tuck?

There are two types of swelling due to blood and fluid after surgery. One type is general swelling in a area, where the fluid is throughout the tissues (like orange juice inside an orange). The other type of fluid collection is actually a pocket of fluid (like water inside a water balloon). The difference is that one only goes away with time, and the other can be drained. The only way to see if there is fluid under the skin (other than your doctor doing an exam) is to get an ultrasound or cat scan of the area or to try to drain the fluid with a needle in the office. Even if there is no fluid there, and you popped a stitch, it is too early to consider re-doing that part of the surgery. Generally, you need to wait at least 3-6 months to figure out whether swelling is responsible for the appearance.For now, stay in communication with your surgeon and wear your compression. It may take 6-8 weeks to see a noticeable difference. If you don't want to wait that long, you can ask about attempting drainage or getting an ultrasound to rule out the possibility of a fluid collection. 

Dana Goldberg, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Did I rupture a stich in my abdominal wall due to vomiting?

If fluid collection than seek a scan to rule out fluid in subcutaneous area. If returned suture than only after 3 months healing can see a bulge.

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