Symptoms of Torn Internal Stitches After Tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Know the symptoms of ruptured internal stitches of Tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty) so you don't jeopardize your result!

Symptoms of Torn Internal Stitches After Tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty)
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Do you know the symptoms of torn internal stitches after Tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty)?

Anyone who has had or is considering having surgery to get a flat stomach has probably already thought about it.

After all, it is important to previously identify any changes to act quickly and avoid damage to healing.

Because if the internal points of Tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty) can break, so can the external ones. Aside from the consequences of dealing with sore spots.

If you want to know all the details about Abdominoplasty points, then read this content until the end. Here you will discover.

What Is Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)?

Tummy tuck is a cosmetic surgical procedure indicated to remove excess sagging skin in the abdomen. This surgery removes loose skin, fatty deposits, and distension marks (swelling) located on the belly.

At your appointment, the doctor will explain the location of the scar and how the tummy tuck will be performed.

All this in order to achieve the firm and flat appearance of the abdominal region, since it is not possible to achieve this through diet and physical activity routine.

That is, you can even lose weight, but the skin looks flaccid, as the abdomen assumes a disproportionate size in relation to the rest of the body.

Learn all about Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) here!

How Is Tummy Tuck Surgery Performed?

Tummy Tuck is performed by a specialized plastic surgeon. The step by step is to first go through a consultation with the doctor, who will indicate some tests to check your health status. But we will tell you the other steps of the surgery!

Here is the key information about tummy tuck surgery.

If everything is right, you can now set the date for your plastic surgery.

Remembering that abdominoplasty surgeries should only be performed in hospitals recognized and experienced in this type of procedure.

Before starting the abdomen surgery, the area is still cleaned and the incision lines are drawn. Then the medical team follows the following step by step:

  1. The Surgeon makes incisions above the pubic area in a semicircle shape.
  1. The skin and the layer of fat over the abdomen are separated and the tissue is peeled back towards the rib cage, exposing the abdominal muscles.
  1. If the abdominal muscles are far apart, the surgeon will suture them together to create a flat, firm abdominal wall.
  1. The surgeon stretches the skin and detached fat over the abdominal wall. The belly button remains intact, and as it is covered by this layer of skin, the surgeon makes a small incision to make the belly button visible again.
  1. Leftover skin and fat are removed. The incisions are sutured and dressings and bandages are applied.
  1. To prevent the formation of fluid during the healing process, drains are placed in the abdomen, which remain in place for 2 or 3 weeks.

Depending on the results you want, this surgery can take anywhere from one to five hours. Surgery is generally done as an outpatient procedure. If you are traveling out of town to a facility to have the procedure done, you’ll be asked to stay overnight at a hotel. Liposuction may or may not be recommended at the same time.

You will receive general anesthesia, which will put you to sleep during the operation. It’s important to have someone with you who can drive you home. If you live alone and you’re sent home after the procedure, you also will need someone to stay with you at least the first night after the surgery.

Circumferential abdominoplasty: This surgery includes the back area. When there is a lot of excess fat in the back as well as the abdomen, you may have either liposuction of the back or circumferential abdominoplasty. The latter procedure allows for the removal of both skin and fat from the hip and back areas, which improves the shape of your body from all sides.

After your partial or complete tummy tuck, your incision site will be stitched and bandaged. Your surgeon may have you wear an elastic bandage or compression garment after surgery. If so, it’s very important that you follow all of your surgeon’s instructions on wearing this garment and caring for the bandage. Your surgeon will also tell you about the best way to sit or lie down so you’ll be in the least amount of pain.

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If you’re exceptionally physically active, you’ll have to severely limit strenuous exercise for four to six weeks. Your doctor will advise you on this as you go through the healing process. Generally, one week off work after the surgery is sufficient for most people to recover properly. Again, your doctor will help you determine this.

Complete abdominoplasty: This option is for patients who need the most correction. The incision (cut) is made at the bikini line, at about the same level as your pubic hair. The length of the scar depends on the amount of extra skin. Your surgeon will then manipulate and shape the skin and muscle as needed. You will also have an incision around your navel (belly button) with this procedure, because it’s necessary to free your navel from surrounding tissue. Drainage tubes may or may not be placed under your skin. These will be removed in a few days as your surgeon sees fit.

Partial or mini-abdominoplasty: Mini-abdominoplasties are done with shorter incisions and are often performed on people who have less excess skin. Your belly button most likely won’t be moved during this type of procedure. Your skin will be separated between the line of incision and your belly button. This procedure generally takes one to two hours. As with the complete abdominoplasty, you may or may not have drainage tubes after surgery.

Symptoms of Torn Internal Stitches After Tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Symptoms of Torn Internal Stitches After Tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Symptoms of torn internal stitches in Tummy tuck do not usually involve pain. In fact, there is only one physical indication that draws attention: the noticeable increase in the region, especially above the navel. The abdomen is left with a bulge that may indicate that the internal points of the Abdominoplasty have opened. However, just like with any surgery, complications can occur after tummy tuck, your body needs time to heal afterward.

The following are some symptoms of torn internal stitches and signs of complication after tummy tuck:

  • Red streak runs from the incision
  • Stitch (or staple) came out early and wound has re-opened
  • You feel weak or very sick
  • Severe pain in the incision
  • Fever
  • Incision looks infected (spreading redness, pain) and large red area
  • Incision looks infected (spreading redness, pain) and on face

Internal tummy tuck stitches rarely break. But this is just one possibility. According to medical specialists in plastic surgery, this hardly happens because these points, known as abdominal plication, are made with a very resistant type of thread. In addition, the technique is designed so that the internal stitches last a lifetime. If in doubt, you need to talk to your doctor.

Therefore, when choosing the clinic for your plastic surgery, choose one that offers a wide range of care, from pre to post-op.

After all, no one deserves to be on hand at this moment so fundamental to the result of your tummy tuck and that generates so many doubts.

What Are The Internal Points Of Tummy Tuck For?

Symptoms of Torn Internal Stitches After Tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty)

The internal stitches of Tummy Tuck, or abdominal plication, are made to correct diastasis, which usually leaves the stomach high. This is a common situation after pregnancy, when the abdominal muscles are separated. But it is worth remembering that this is just one of the goals of Abdominoplasty.

The main thing you should already know: correct sagging in the belly. Abdominal plication is done to correct diastasis. Diastasis causes a high stomach, but that’s not always the only problem.

Women often have gastric problems, which may continue after surgery. When this happens, they soon think they are symptoms of torn internal stitches in a tummy tuck.

However, the most common is that this discomfort is related to the stomach, whether due to inflammation, gases, type of food.

So, despite knowing that the internal stitches of abdominoplasty can break, the problem is usually gastric. And, this happens even when the plication was done correctly.

Internal Tummy Tucks Can Break, But How Can You Be Sure?

Symptoms of Torn Internal Stitches After Tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty)
Abdominal wall ultrasound

To be sure that the tummy tuck stitches have opened, just do an abdominal wall ultrasound. In it you can clearly see whether the muscles of the abdominal wall are separated or not. And, the plastic surgeon himself can request the exam or any other doctor, including your gynecologist.

Overall, having internal stitches torn after tummy tuck does not affect your health.

But this can generate an aesthetic discomfort that can only be solved with a new surgery on the abdomen.

Before doing this, it is necessary to understand the reason for the rupture of the abdominal plication. For example, if it was due to a new pregnancy or a gastric problem.

In this second case, it will be necessary to treat the gastric issue first, and then redo the abdominal plication.

Now that you’ve seen how to tell if the internal stitches of a tummy tuck have opened, it’s important to point out that this type of situation is quite uncommon.

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As mentioned, tummy tuck stitches are tough and made to last indefinitely.

These internal points are considered approximation points and, due to the characteristics mentioned above, they can break even after years of surgery.

Quite different from external points, also known as healing points. These only break down in the short term, while the skin healing process is just beginning.

External Open Stitch Abdominoplasty: What To Do?

Symptoms of Torn Internal Stitches After Tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty)
Abdominoplasty open stitch

When you have an open stitch after tummy tuck, the first step is to communicate with your plastic surgeon and find out the reason for the opening. The doctor analyzes and indicates the best treatment, which may be to close this point again. In some cases this is done in the clinic itself, using local anesthesia.

Abdominoplasty open stitch Known as dehiscence, this opening of the abdominoplasty stitches has as its main reason the failure to comply with the guidelines given by the plastic surgeon.

For example, when the patient makes some physical effort.

If this happens and the open space is small, the surgeon can close it in the clinic, as mentioned above.

Cases Of Opening External Points

In other cases of those who underwent Abdominoplasty, an open stitch is caused by the weakening of the scar for organic reasons. For example, when the patient is diabetic, she smokes or has a suture infection.

In these situations, the first step is to address this problem, for example:

  • Controlling blood glucose
  • Quitting smoking
  • Taking antibiotics (Infection case)

After that, the surgeon closes the open stitch.

If these reasons continue, there is no point in closing, as the points tend to open again.

If the patient cannot correct this, as she has difficulty controlling diabetes or quitting smoking, the doctor chooses healing by second intention. That is, he lets the point close by itself.

This can take 3 to 4 months and requires extra care with hygiene to avoid an infection.

It is an alert, cases of open stitch when the patient has diabetes or smokes, can lead to necrosis of the edge of the scar. In other words, the death of the skin. Therefore, all care is important!

In general, the risk of external stitches opening exists, at most, until the first 3 weeks of surgery. After that, due to the healing process, there is no longer that possibility.

In abdominoplasty, open stitches can be small, about 1 cm, or large, 5 cm or more.

Regardless of the size, it is essential to inform your surgeon or your medical team about what has happened.

In Abdominoplasty, Open Stitch On The Skin Can Be Avoided!

For your stitches not to open after tummy tuck, you must:

  • Avoid sudden movements as much as possible.
  • Pay attention at bedtime so you don’t turn over during the night.
  • Ask for help and not gain weight at all for the first few weeks.
  • Quit smoking weeks before surgery
  • Control your blood sugar if you are diabetic

Tummy Tuck Inflamed Points

Symptoms of Torn Internal Stitches After Tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty)

In the short term, all tummy tuck patients have inflamed spots. This is part of the healing process and will improve in 2 or at most 3 weeks. However, if this does not happen and the inflamed point becomes dark, you should seek the guidance of your plastic surgeon.

It is important to keep the area clean and dry. Sometimes there is a slight inflammation, usually at the ends of the scar, which generates a minimal opening (less than 1 cm) to expel some internal point.

In this situation there is nothing to be done, as it closes itself afterwards. To avoid an abnormal inflammation, which could harm your scar, it is important to have 3 simple precautions:

  • Don’t force the stitches
  • Wash the area with mild soap and water (when the doctor allows it), so you avoid unnecessary risks of infection.
  • Keep the dressings, so that the place does not have contact with dirt.

But don’t worry, because this is a common situation, the region tends to get red, itchy… But later, when you see your before and after Abdominoplasty, you won’t even remember this phase.

How Many Days To Remove The Tummy Tuck?

The period to remove the tummy tucks varies. This is usually done after 2 or at most 3 weeks. But in plastic surgery, the stitch that is removed is at the ends of the scar, the others are internal and the body itself will absorb it, except for the abdominal plication.

Symptoms of Torn Internal Stitches After Tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty)

In the postoperative period of Abdominoplasty, always follow the guidelines of your doctor!

It is worth remembering that before that you go to a post-operative consultation, and the doctor will guide you on the care of the region and the right date to remove the stitches.

Conclusion

Attention with the points of Abdominoplasty! One thing is for sure, when it comes to the points of Abdominoplasty, care is essential.

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That’s because we’re talking about the result of a cosmetic surgery, which was thought to be the best possible.

After all, you don’t want to waste all the time and money invested in making that dream come true, do you?

Plastic Surgery is a serious matter, so it is essential to choose your doctor very well!

Also, Plastic Surgery is something that we usually only do once.

So, you need to get it right in the first place in choosing your doctor and the clinic that you will do yours.

This is the only way to correct what bothers you, safely and with the guarantee of having a great result.

 

FAQS

 

How Common Are Complications After Tummy Tuck?

Complication risk is particularly high for the large proportion of patients undergoing abdominoplasty in combination with other procedures, according to an analysis of nationwide data. Studies indicate that combined procedures can significantly increase complication rates and should be considered carefully in higher-risk patients.

When researchers analyzed Abdominoplasty complication rates and risk factors using the nationwide CosmetAssure database, an insurance program providing coverage for complications related to cosmetic plastic surgery procedures, which are typically not covered by health insurance, they discovered that major complications occurred in four percent of patients undergoing tummy tuck—significantly higher than the 1.4 percent rate after other cosmetic surgery procedures. Hematomas (blood collections) were the most common major complication, followed by infections, blood clots (venous thromboembolism), and lung-related problems.

Combined procedures were a key risk factor for complications. Compared to the 3.1 percent rate with tummy tuck alone, risk increased when tummy tuck was combined with other procedures: up to 10.4 percent when tummy tuck was combined with body contouring plus liposuction. After adjustment for other factors, the relative risk of major complications was 50 percent higher with combined procedures.

Other risk factors for major complications included male sex, age 55 years or older, and obesity. Risk was lower when tummy tuck was performed in an office-based surgical suite, compared to a hospital or surgical center.

Diabetes and smoking are two major surgical risk factors: were not associated with a significant increase in complications after Abdominoplasty. That likely reflected Board-certified plastic surgeons’ practice of not offering Abdominoplasty to poorly controlled diabetics and recommending strict smoking cessation for at least four weeks before and after surgery.

Are The Tummy Tuck Sutures Absorbable?

98% of the sutures used during a Abdominoplasty are absorbable. Absorbable sutures are used to re-approximate the skin layers. Permanent sutures are used to re-approximate two different fascial layers. Fascia is a layer of tough connective tissue that often separates anatomic structures and surrounds muscles.

Permanent sutures are often used to re-approximate Scarpa’s fascia. Also, permanent sutures are used to flatten the abdominal wall muscles by tightening the rectus abdominis muscles. This row of rectus abdominis sutures corrects for rectus muscle laxity and rectus diastasis (gapping in the rectus muscle). Rectus muscle laxity and rectus diastasis often occur with pregnancy and/or weight gain and subsequent weight loss. Usually, doctors place two or more layers of these permanent sutures on the rectus abdominis muscle. These permanent sutures are placed from the xiphoid (bottom of the sternum) to the top of the pubic region. These rectus muscle sutures are permanent and do not need to be removed.

Tummy Tuck And Stitches

While performing a tummy tuck, three types of sutures are used. There are permanent sutures, which as the name implies, are permanent. These sutures should last you a lifetime. The sutures are used to tighten or plicate the six-pack or rectus abdominis muscles. These permanent sutures lead to a flat belly for years to come. The rest of the sutures are absorbable. Three sutures are commonly used during an Abdominoplasty. PDS sutures are often used. PDS sutures usually dissolve at 238 days. Vicryl sutures are also often used. Vicryl sutures dissolve by 70 days. Monocryl sutures are also used. Monocryl sutures dissolve at 119 days.

After A Tummy Tuck, Do Any Sutures Need To Be Removed?

Sometimes areas of skin discrepancy need one or two sutures. One or two weeks after the tummy tuck, these sutures are removed. The removal of these tiny sutures is usually painless. Sutures also need to be withdrawn from the drain site. Usually, there are one or two sutures that are used to anchor the drain to the skin. When the drains are removed, the drain sutures are also removed.

If you want to read more articles similar to Symptoms of Torn Internal Stitches After Tummy tuck, we recommend you visit our Women’s Health category.

Symptoms of Torn Internal Stitches After Tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty)

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