Breast Redness After Revision Vertical Lift for 2 Months, Normal? (photo)

The lower outer side of my breast has an area of redness. No inflamation doc says no infection. However, i have never heard of this. is this common after lifts. i would like to rule out IBC or any malignant process with mri. it is not geeting better.Please tell me if you have ever had a patient with this persistent redness and if i should worry it has nothing to do with the incision.Also experienced areola widening for second time wth this revision not sure what can help.

Doctor Answers (7)

Redness of the breast

+1

I do not see significant redness in the photos and an exam would be necessary. The only way to detect breast cancer is by biopsy.  Give the scars time to settle down  If you have concerns speaks with your surgeon.


Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Redness after revision vertical breast lift is not unusual.

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Inflammatory breast cancer is both unlikely with your presentation, and something that is diagnosed with biopsy rather than MRI. Unless your breasts are tender, swollen, and red, with systemic fever, chills, and elevated white blood cell counts, you are unlikely to have infection either.

Redness such as yours is something most busy breast surgeons have seen in a small number of their patients. We also worry about possible infection, and often treat our patients with a course (or courses) of antibiotics, sometimes with improvement. Then, the redness recurs once the anibiotics are stopped. More antibiotics. Eventually, we decide to stop antibiotic coverage and see that the redness gradually goes away, or persists in a cyclic fashion that seems to correlate with menstrual cycles.

My best guess about this phenomenon is that there are intraductal bacteria, or bacteria in the skin glands and hair follicles of the breast, that respond to the changing hormones each month, much as acne rosacea does in facial skin. Antibiotics sometimes are used for rosacea also, but do not "cure" this diagnosis, just as antibiotics do not eliminate the breast redness issue when we see it.

As far as areola widening goes, you have large implants and a tight closure in one dimension, with a scar that (unfortunately) crosses the inframammary crease onto the chest wall. This is one reason I personally believe that vertical lifts are not for everyone. Your high, tight appearance may also be indicative of capsular contracture. Most women find this look unnatural and unattractive, but some actually prefer this, so I hope you are in the latter group. Otherwise, a third re-operation may be necessary for several reasons.

For now, you should ask your surgeon about scar pads and/or other topical scar-reducing agents. Scar widening cannot be improved, but the redness, irritation, and scar thickening CAN. Best wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 135 reviews

Redness on breast

+1

Do you have an implant as well? Did you happen to have Strattice or Alloderm placed at time of revision to help support a breast implant?  You can see redness to the breast that is not infection related with these products.  Please ask your plastic surgeon.

Vishnu Rumalla, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

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Redness of breasts normal? (photo)

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Your closure appears tight, with a high volume to surface ratio.  This may enlarge areolae. 

Collagen turnover, skin accommodation of tension, fibroplasia, and other processes associated with healing are ongoing.  Increased local vascularity is common during this period of healing, and redness goes along with this vascularity.  Redness is a sign of increased blood flow that may also indicate other processes, such as inflammation or infection. 

You should address your concerns to the operating surgeon, and follow up closely.  Healing progresses for many months.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Breast augmentation/Lifting Revisionary Surgery and Redness?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

Always best to seek advise and direct consultation,  given that the amount of information  provided online is limited ( advice given is also limited).

The chances of you having inflammatory breast cancer is extremely unlikely;  the best way to rule this out is with a visit to a surgical oncologist ( and probable biopsy). 

The redness that you are experiencing along the lower pole of the breasts is  much more likely to be related to  differential diagnoses that include: venous congestion,  hypersensitivity,  fungal infection etc.

Assuming you are working with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon,  use him/her as your main source  of information and advice.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 779 reviews

Redness after breast surgery

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I do not think you have an infection. Your scars are another scars. You need to be putting some steroids on the scars to get them to calm down. Either Scarguard, Temovate or in a tape. 

Ronald Schuster, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Doubt IBC

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Several issues here.  Frist, the most serious - Inflammatory Breast Cancer.  This is very unlikely in view of the time couse relative to recent surgery and the fact that the discoloration is mild and localized.  Usually IBC present with a "peau d'orange" appearance which is definitely not present in your breasts.  Most likey this is due to a temporary change in the blood supply to the skin with some venous congestion which should resolve over time.  I have seen this many times.

 

Second, the scars look a little thick.  Hope you are doing something to help with this - silicone gel, Vit. E, massage, etc...

 

Third, if the peri-areolar puse-string was performed with non-absorbable suture, e.g. Gore-tex, the risk of areolar widening is minimal, but NOT zero.  This is something that can happen after any "gathering" technique.

Robert Stroup, Jr., MD, FACS
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 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.