How Long Until I Am "Out of the Woods" for Wound Separation?

I am 10 days post op. My tape has been removed and things look good so far. My question is how long after surgery does the potential complication of wound separation exist? My PS said I can start using lotions, but I'm rather nervous to touch anything, especially the area around the incisions.

Doctor Answers 9

Wound healing issues

Usually by the time  patients reach about two to three weeks out from surgery, they are usually out of the woods.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

1049 Fifth Ave
New York, NY 10028

Wound healing after breast reduction

Congratulations on your surgery!  In general, I place restrictions on my patients for 6 weeks after surgery.  The reason for this is that scars take about that long to gain enough strength to prevent any separation.  After this time, it is very rare to seen any incision line separation.  Good luck!

Naveen Setty, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

175 Ridge Road
McKinney, TX 75070

Healing is not complete but well underway at 10 days


Thank you for the question.  Many of the complications of any surgery can be seen early on within the first week or two including hematoma, infection, necrosis, etc.  At 10 days out it sounds like you are healing very well and that you do not have any of the above healing issues.  From this point on, barring accidents, you will unlikely see any of the above complications.  Small issues such as sutures extrusion (spitting) may be seen for the first month but these are small issues that often resolve on their own or are taken care of easily in your plastic surgeons office and have little to no long term repercussions.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 127 reviews

8900 E Raintree Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

When does wound separation occur

Wound separation is generally a consequence, not a cause. So, the initial postop period, of 4-6 weeks, is the time within which a patient is most likely to disrupt a wound or develop an infection. Lotion isn't essential so if you have anxiety about touching the area around the incision (and, if you do, please wash carefully and with soap!!), then don't. Keep up with followup visits and enjoy the result.

Robert L. Kraft, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

112-03 Queens Blvd
Forest Hills, NY 11375

Care instructions following a breast reduction

Usually be 2 - 4 weeks you should be fine as far as wound separation after a breast reduction.  Continue to follow your plastic surgeons advice and wound care instructions. 

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

3096 Peachtree Industrial Blvd
Duluth, GA 30097



Usually after 3 weeks you are in the clear. You could apply lotion just not on your incision. Good luck.


Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

9025 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90211


I do not recommend any skin lotion, until 8 months after surgery....

Best Dr. Vega / Tijuana, Mexico

Ricardo Vega, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Blvd. Agua Caliente 4558
Tijuana, BC 22014

Breast reduction solidly healed at three weeks.


If you are doing well at ten days, you are probably "out of the woods".  We recommend wearing a sports bra for three week and applying BioCorneum scar ointment twice a day.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

875 Park Ave at 78th Street
New York, NY 10075

Wound Separation after Breast Reduction?

Congratulations on having undergone the breast reduction procedure; hopefully you'll be very pleased with the outcome of your procedure.

 Generally speaking, once patients are 4 to 6 weeks out of the procedure, incision line separation/wound healing problems are infrequent.

 I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,052 reviews

8851 Center Drive
San Diego, CA 91942

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.