Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, is a popular cosmetic surgery that helps patients to regain a flatter, more toned abdomen. However, like any cosmetic procedure, a tummy tuck comes with a recovery period and potential complications that you need to be aware of.
In this article we will take a closer look at the symptoms of torn internal stitches following a tummy tuck, as well as some of the precautions you can take during the recovery process to help minimise the complication.
Our body contouring surgeon at the CREO Clinic, Dr. Omar Tillo, has years of experience performing abdominoplasty for different patients with bespoke surgical needs. Having perfected the cosmetic surgical procedure, he will be able to ensure the recovery process is as smooth and straightforward as possible.
How Common Are Complications After A Tummy Tuck?
As mentioned, undergoing a tummy tuck can carry a certain degree of risk just like any cosmetic procedure. Swelling, bruising and soreness in the affected area are all normal during the early stages of the recovery process, while in some cases, visible scarring, wound breakdown, and delayed healing can affect patients across a longer stretch of time.
Signs of Torn Internal Stitches
There are several symptoms of torn internal stitches in abdominal muscles to look out for after your tummy tuck procedure. Explained below are some of the most prominent.
Severe Pain in The Incision Site
If you experience pain or discomfort when touching the sutures or moving the wounded region after a tummy tuck, this may be a sign of either torn stitches or wound infection.
Fever And Exhaustion
While a high body temperature and exhaustion can often be your body’s natural reaction to the inflammation after tummy tuck surgery, if this persists and becomes more severe during recovery, it may be an indication of something more serious such as torn internal stitches.
Redness Around the Incision
Following a tummy tuck, it is possible you may see redness or red streaks around the incision sites. This can be normal during the initial stages of healing, but severe, long-lasting redness is a prominent symptom of torn internal stitches and problems with connective tissue regenerating.
Yellow Discharge or Bad Smell
Discharge is normal during the first 2-3 days after tummy tuck surgery, however yellow or green drainage from the surgical site (especially when accompanied with a foul odour) is one of the more serious symptoms of torn internal stitches.
Tender & Swollen Lymph Nodes
Painful and swollen lymph nodes usually indicate that your body is fighting an infection. If this problem gets worse during the early stages of tummy tuck recovery, it may be a sign that you have torn internal stitches.
When Are Stitches Removed After Tummy Tuck Surgery?
All of the sutures used in a tummy tuck, besides the permanent ones used to tighten the rectus abdominis (an abdominal muscle), are absorbable sutures. Therefore, the only sutures that need to be removed after the procedure are the ones from the drain site.
Precautions to Take With Stitches During The Healing Process
There are several things you can do during the tummy tuck recovery process to help minimise the risk of torn internal stitches after surgery. Listed below are some of the most important to keep in mind:
- It is essential that you keep your incision sites as clean and dry as possible. Poor personal hygiene can increase the risk of wound breakdown, infection, and bleeding.
- While walking and light forms of exercise are recommended post-procedure, any kind of strenuous activity or heavy lifting should be avoided for at least six weeks to ensure the stitches are protected from excessive strain and remain intact.
- You will receive a compression garment to wear for the first six weeks after your tummy tuck. This helps to protect the incision sites, reduce any post-surgical swelling, and facilitate the contouring of the abdomen.
Schedule A Consultation with CREO Clinic
For further information on how to identify torn internal stitches after a tummy tuck, contact us today to schedule a 1-on-1 consultation with Dr. Tillo. With years of experience performing all types of abdominoplasty, he will be able to discuss a bespoke treatment plan according to your specific needs.