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Incision Looks Infected 3 Weeks After Breast Lift- Opinion? (photo)

Hi there, I need some advise on my breast. I had surgery oct 14 th, 2011 (almost 3 weeks ago), My incision doesn't look good, they getting worst. I called Dr. but then they told me that its fine and it heals that way. But I don't know what to think about that? Please help me, this is actually my second surgery, my first was 4 month ago, i wasn't happy with the result because they did areola lift ( that didn't help at all with my saggy breast) Now i had full lift. :(

Doctor Answers 12

Breast lift and wound problems

Is not uncommon to have problems with wounds after a breast lift. These rules may be due to a decreased blood supply in the flap to tension in the world are to both.

Infection is the thing that you must be concerned with. Watching for drainage, redness or fever would be evidence of infection. Keeping the wound covered with antibiotic ointment may be a good idea. Letting this would heal on its own is the best way to deal with this type of would. Once its healed the scar can be revised to approve its appearance.  Monitor your wound and follow-up frequently with you Dr. to make sure your wound is healing well.

Miami Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 184 reviews

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Healing problems after a breast lift

The 'T' pattern breast lift, or breast reduction can place tension at the junction of the T and when wound separations occur this is where we see them. They can indeed start with a suture abscess, or an infection in the closure. We cannot tell if there is an active infection so your surgeon should be seeing things frequently and helping you along. After healing a revision of the scar is likely.

Best of luck,

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Infection in scar from breat lift


There is some wound break down in the scar and the area is inflamed. This is a relatively common complication. This does not look overtly infected. But if you get any pain, if the area feels hot to touch, if there is a lot of discharge, particularly foul-smelling discharge - please see your surgeon straightway.


Anindya Lahiri, FRCS (Plast)
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Is My Breast Lift Incision Infected

Good Morning and thanks for the question and accompanying pictures.  It does not appear that your breast incisions are infected, but rather you had a little skin breakdown and what you are seeing is a normal scab that forms in response to the injury.  This is not an uncommon occurrence with a full breast lift, particularly in the area that you have shown.   The increased redness around your wound is a normal response (inflammation) to the skin breakdown as the inflammation brings in cells to repair the wound.  The inflammation also causes redness around the wound site which can often be mistaken as an infection.  Follow-up with your plastic surgeon to confirm that this is nothing more than a superficial wound.  Best Wishes for a rapid recovery!!!!!

Louis DeLuca, MD
Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Breast Lift Infection?

Thank you for the question.

It would be in your best interest to follow-up with your plastic surgeon for direct examination. You should have some peace of mind however that most likely you are not dealing with an infection but with superficial  wound healing problems  at the junction of the vertical and horizontal incisions. This is the area where blood flow is the most compromised and tension along the incision lines the greatest.

Every surgeons'  recommendations may differ but I like to use non-stick dressings changed once a day covered by sterile dressings to keep the area clean and dry. If there are no implants in place my level of concern is much less than if implants are present.

Please keep in mind the direct examination by your surgeon is your best course of action.

Best wishes.

Skin loss after breast lift

Thank you for your question and photos. Although it is impossible to tell from photographs alone, it does not appear that your incisions are infected. You have some breakdown of the skin along the vertical incision and at the confluence of incisions. This occasionally happens with full breast lifts and, more commonly, with breast reductions. This is because this area has the poorest blood supply but the greatest tension. For these reasons, some of the skin does not survive and sloughs off. An actual infection is generally associated with increasing pain, swelling, tenderness and possibly fevers and chills.  If you are not having any of these symptoms, you probably do not have an infection. Your surgeon should instruct you on local care to the area.  Do not use dressings that seal the area closed. It is generally best to use an open absorbent gauze and change it frequently.  This should heal on its own.  The scars will eventually settle down and could be revised in the future if necessary.

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Infected Incisions

It is difficult to determine what the diagnosis may be without properly examining a patient. The only way to know is to have a physical examination with a surgeon. It is normal to have some spotting of blood the first week, however, it is completely abnormal to have any drainage after surgery. Leakage of pus coloring along with pain and inflammation can be a sign of infection. Cultures ordered by your physician can determine whether or not you have an infection. It is crucial that you contact your surgeon immediately and inform him/her of your issue so that treatment could be started immediately. I hope this has helped.

Rady Rahban, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Secondary healing

It looks as though you had some wound separation and areas that have delayed healing. Keep a close eye on them and do the wound care instructed by your surgeon. Follow closely with your surgeon. Often this heals with conservative care and does not usually need further surgery.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Skin breakdown after breast lift

I am sorry to read that you have experienced a complication. Skin surface breakdown with secondary healing can occur after mastopexy. It is impossible to determine whether this is also infected without an examination. Any redness, swelling, prurient drainage or systemic changes such as fever would be indicative of infection. I encourage you to followup regularly with your plastic surgeon and call if these problems develop so they can be treated ASAP. Your surgeon can determine if the wounds need debridement or other treatment and instruct you in postop care. Not to be minimized are risk factors precipitating problems in wound healing including smoking and diabetes, among other things. Best of luck to you. Dr K

Robert L. Kraft, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Wound separation following a breast lift

Though the lighting is not the best, it does not grossly appear as if your incision is infected. There is inflammation, wound separation and delayed healing - not uncommon occurrences in this area. Ultimately, it should close without major issues provided that an infection doesn't develop. Smoking or exposure to smoking can create/exacerbate this problem so if these apply to you - take note.

You surgeon needs to keep a fairly close eye on this. If you start to see intense redness or the a sizable amount of the surrounding tissues become hot and red - this would need to be treated aggressively and your surgeon should be notified immediately. (Fortunately, this is a fairly uncommon occurrence.)

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 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.