Spitting Stitch - Do I Have An Infection?

My Scar Round my Nipple Has a Hole with a Plastic Stitch Coming from It Its Weeping and There is Bits of Blood Coming from It. im 2 and half months post surgery any help would be much appreciated i had the surgery done abroad so i cant just go see my surgeon iv posted pics also. thank you in advance im so scared of infection or necrosis etc.

Doctor Answers 18

Do I have an Infection After My Breast Augmentation?

Based on the photographs, it looks like a suture abscess. This occurs when the suture causes local inflammation and irritation and comes through the skin before it dissolves (if it is a dissolvable suture). From the photograph it does not look like you have an infection in your breast. These suture abscesses heal on their own. I would recommend using triple antibiotic ointment and if it is draining, to cover it with a gauze to keep your clothes from getting stained.

Hope that helps!

Dr. Babak Dadvand

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Problem After Breast Augmentation Abroad

I can be scary when you have a problem and feel like there is nobody to see that can help you. In your case, from the photos it seems that you are having a simple stitch reaction. This is sometimes called a stitch abcess or a spitting stitch. If the small piece of stitch in the open area is removed the wound will heal without any further treatment, This is not an infection.

The bigger point to be made is the importance of having your surgeon nearby for these type of questions. Today a lot of patients choose to go abroad to save a few dollars. The problem with that is just what you have experienced - no follow up care. In your case it is a simple problem that can easily be handled. That is, if you can find a doctor willing to help you. You will likely have to pay a consultation fee to have this cared for as well. It may cost a few dollars more to stay in this country, but you will have the support and care of your doctor throughout the entire process including healing. If you have more serious issues that can be VERY important. For you the surgery is done, and you will eventually heal fine. For others that might be reading this, remember, going abroad can save a little bit of money in the beginning and cost a LOT more in the end.

I host a radio show called "New Reflections". In a couple of weeks we will be doing a show on plastic surgery disasters including some patients that travelled abroad. I invite you to listen in. See the link below.

I hope this info helps!

Adam Rubinstein, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Wound issue. Surgery done out of country.

Thank you for your photos, to really make recommendations one would need a proper  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 you should be seen by a board certified plastic surgeon.  They will guide you through this.

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

Spitting stitch

It is not uncommon for stitches to work their way out to the surface during the first few months of postoperative recovery. Judging by your photographs and your description it does not appear the you currently have an infection. Healing will not occur unless the retained suture is removed. After it is removed if you keep the wound clean you should have uneventful healing and not develop an infection You will need to see a surgeon who will remove the retained suture and provide you with wound care guidance. Good luck

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Local wound care should resolve abscess.

It’s not unusual for absorbable sutures to work their way to the surface of the wound.When this happens, they frequently develop localized infection around the suture.This is known as a stitch abscess and is easily treated with local wound care.This requires removal of the suture and dressing changes.In some cases, antibiotics will be necessary as well.
It’s important that you consult your plastic surgeon.Your surgeon will develop a treatment plan that addresses your problem.

Find a surgeon in your area

Please find an experienced board certified plastic surgeon in your city. This needs to be examined for a better assessment, although it could be just a spitting stitch. 

Spitting suture is very common.

Thank you for your photos. It appears that you are having issues with a "spitting" stitch. The sutures which are underneath the skin are common absorbable. This means that through an inflammatory process, the suture will be dissolved over a period of weeks to months. In some instances, this inflammatory process to dissolve the suture causes the overlying skin to breakdown and the suture pops through. The suture itself can be clipped and this usually resolves the situation. I recommend making an appointment with a plastic surgeon in your area and they can help resolve this issue. Very rarely does this lead to a larger infection.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Spitting of Suture after Surgery

What you have is very common. The absorbable suture under the skin occasionally causes a local reaction as it's being dissolved and may spit out.  If any redness, pain, or drainage persists after several days, see your plastic surgeon.

Michael A. Jazayeri, MD
Santa Ana Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Breast infection

This is not a breast infection.what you are experiencing is the spitting of sutures.This is not uncommon.the buried sutures work there way to the surface and open up the incision.Just put a little antibacterial ointment on it.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Not a real infection

You have a "spitting stitch" and the offending suture needs to be removed.  After the foreign substance (the suture) is removed, the wound will heal on it's own.  Really, any surgeon should be able to do this for you.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, M.D.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 57 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.