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What is to Be Expected from Sutures/stitches After Breast Lift with Augmentation??

Seems like orange-colored sutures came off my aerola. No redness, no infection in sight, but just a tiny little hole. Is this normal? What is to be expected the next few months after mastopexy with breast augmentation? How are the sutures done inside and outside? What are the types of stitches done? How to make the difference between the permanent ones? Please, doctors, I need answers, I'm quite curious about this.

Doctor Answers 11

Mastopexy and sutures

These specific questions are surgeon dependent. You would have to ask your surgeon what types of sutures he used.  I use absorbable sutures for most things.  Occasionally with mastopexies that I do a circumareola lift only, I use an internal permanent suture, that the patient does not usually feel.  Almost all othere sutures are absrobable and the only thins uusally changes are the steri-strips( tape covering jthe incisions).

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Most surgeons prefer absorbable sutures for augmentation and mastopexy, as

this approach is much more convenient for our patients.  The length of time the suture lasts is dependent on which suture the surgeon has chosen, but usually it takes six to twelve weeks for the sutures to be gone.  During that time, and again, depending on the suture used, the suture can begin to erode thrtough the skin before it is completely absorbed, temporarily leaving a "tiny little hole" such as the one you are describing.  Most often, this does not create any long term problems, and can be treated in the meantime with bacitracin or another topical agent (though you should discuss this with the surgeon taking care of you before starting any new treatments).  Over the next few months the scars should fade and hopefully you will be very pleased with your result. 

Michael H. Rosenberg, MD
White Plains Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

What kind of sutures are used?

There are many different variations in skin sutures used, but there are always dissolvable sutures placed under the skin to hold the deeper tissue together. It sounds like one of the deeper ones may have worked its way to the surface, which is not uncommon.  You may or may not see more of this happen.  Usually, permanent sutures (the ones that need to be removed if they are on the external surface of your skin) are black or blue in color. 

Stitches after mastopexy surgery

Although it is very likely that what you're experiencing is a stitch coming to the surface (“spitting”) it may behoove you to see your surgeon for examination and advice. This is especially true since every surgeon uses different techniques and sutures. For example some surgeons will use dissolvable and some will use  permanent sutures.

Having said that, the tiny hole you are describing is often seen after a stitch comes to the surface. This area tends to heal within weeks.

Best wishes.

Sutures after breast augmentation and lift

I like to do a circumareolar lift any time it is appropriate.  There is one permanent purse string stitch (that is white) and can rarely extrude through the skin.  If this happens, it almost always has to be taken out and a new suture inserted.  Otherwise all of the sutures are absorbable and are under the skin so they can't be seen.  I suspect that if you have an orange suture that is visible it most likely is a permanent suture and will likely need to be removed and replaced.

Kenneth L. Stein, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Stitches for breast lift and augmentation

I use absorbable sutures for my breast lift and augmentation surgeries.  An advantage of the absorbables is that they do not leave stitch mark scars on the skin.  If some of your sutures are visible now, you should return to your surgeon for an evaluation and possible removal.

David Stoker, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Sutures with Breast Lift

Breast lift incisions are closed differently by different surgeons.  In my practice I use almost all 'self-locking' sutures that are all under the skin so nothing needs to be removed.  Sometimes, depending on the type of lift done, I may use a deep permanent stitch (stays forever and is never removed.)  What you describe sounds like sutures under your skin that are 'spitting' through the skin temorarily leaving tiny openings.  These are sutures that should have disolved on their own but, if they 'poke through' then, in my practice, I'll remove them to lessen the risk of infection and scarring issues.

Scott E. Newman, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Sutures after breast augmentation with lift.

Hard to make any clinical recommendations without photos or an exam. You are going through an active healing process that will take months to complete.  Most plastic surgeons put specific sutures in certain tissues for a reason. In a breast augmentation and mastopexy, most usually close the tissue in layers to keep the tissue together and to take tension off the wound. Deep layers are usually absorbable and the skin sutures non absorbable that have to be taken out. Sometimes sutures from the inside will spit out through the wound. If this is the case you may have a little opening. This is usually OK, and will heal, but should be seen by your plastic surgeon or whoever is covering for him. I tell my patients... No kitchen surgery, come in and we will take a look.  Please continue to inform your board certified plastic surgeon.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Absorbable Sutures Common

The orange sutures that you describe around your areola are absorbable sutures.It’s not unusual for plastic surgeons to use long lasting absorbable sutures when performing breast lift surgery.These sutures typically last four to six months and are buried beneath the skin.They’re used in an effort to avoid spread of the scar.They provide support to the wound closure until the wound has gained adequate strength.

Occasionally, these sutures work their way through the skin before they can absorb.It’s important that these sutures be removed to avoid the development of infection around the stitch.With appropriate care, this should represent a minor problem with no long term consequences.

In addition to absorbable sutures, plastic surgeons occasionally use non-absorbable sutures.These sutures are typically black or blue and are usually removed within five to seven days of surgery.

If you have protruding, absorbable sutures, follow-up with your plastic surgeon is appropriate.Your surgeon should be able to easily remove these sutures to minimize the potential for infection and adverse scarring.

Recovery of Breast Augmentation and Lift

Those are all great questions. After surgery, my patients must leave the bra and bandages on until they are seen by me one week after surgery. I do not like my patients getting their incisions wet. Stitches are incrementally removed 7-14 days as I do not use absorbable or self desolving stitches. While that may sound like it is better, the stitches cause inflammation and often leave track marks. Non absorbable stitches do not and that is why I use them. Immediately after surgery, it is normal to experience temporary soreness, tightness, swelling, bruising and sharp stabbing pain around the breasts and incisions for several months. Swelling will reduce and breasts will usually settle around three months. Hope this has helped.

Rady Rahban, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 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.