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Should I Be Worried- Small Infection After Breast Uplift? (photo)

I am 8 weeks post op (implants and uplift) and this morning I noticed a little raised red lump on part of my scaring, I left it and when I returned from work it had turned yellow. As I looked closer the yellow gunk came out but only a little, so I have (hopefully) removed all the gunk, washed just using clean water and cleaned it after with an anti septic liquid and covered it with a plaster. The hole looked clean but I wondered what I should do and most of all should I be worried? :-(

Doctor Answers 19

Minor wound healing problems after breast lift are usually not infection.

Minor wound healing issues along the incision often seen after a mastopexy. Seldom is this the result of infection. Management is usually keeping the wounds cleaned with soap and water allowing time to close the defect.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Better Safe Than Sorry byVillar

Synthetic absorbable sutures such as Vicryl,  (Polyglactin 910)are polyglycolic acid chains that are absorbed by hydrolysis.  That is, water (H20) is required to break down the molecules.  That is why they must be placed under the surface for predictable absorption.  A Vicryl suture will start with a breaking strength of 15 lbs. on the first day, at 14 days about 12 lbs., and at 28 days about  8 lbs. due to hydrolysis.  By that time, the normal wound cannot be pulled apart and the suture has served its' purpose. There is a low grade inflammatory response around the suture mediated by monocytes and lymphocytes.  When implanted, sutures are rapidly coated with tissue proteins.  This creates a locus for bacterial colonization from the hairfollicles and glandular structures in the skin.  Usually the body's defense mechanisms deal with the bacteria, but sometimes a small abscess develops and breaks out in the wound.  This is commonly called a stitch abscess or "spitting sutures".

Before antibiotics, it was observed that an abscess that remained sealed often led to septicemia and death.  An abscess that was lanced and drained had higher survival rates.  Despite antibiotics, the same principle applies.  Drain and clean all abscesses.

You appear to have a typical "stitch abscess".  Since you have an implant, you should have your surgeon examine the wound without delay and remove any remaining suture material.  Betadine, drainage, removal of suture material, and antibiotics usually resolves the problem.  Persistent festering would suggest the possibility of MRSA(Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).

Copious serous (straw colored drainage) would raise the possibility of a contaminated implant.

If an implant is exposed or infected, have it removed ASAP.  Do not try to save it.  You may get lucky, but if not, you may lose breast tissue or a nipple areola and be condemned to years of reconstructive surgery.   Removal of a contaminated implant usually leads to rapid resolution of the infection.   It is inconvenient, but wise.  Best wishes. Knowledge is power.  Luis F. Villar MD FACS

Luis Villar, MD
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Infection after breast lift with implants

Sounds like you have done all that you alone can do.  I would very strongly recommend calling your surgeon and being seen as a course of antibiotics sooner rather than later would likely be beneficial.  Good luck.

Should I Be Worried- Small Infection After Breast Uplift?

You have a suture abscess from a “spitting” suture. Just keep it clean and it should heal well.

Paul Vitenas, Jr., MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Healing Issues after Breast Lift/Augmentation

  • This is likely just a small area of delayed healing where a suture is being/or has been "spit" out from the incision.  This is not uncommon.
  • Keeping it moist with some Bacitracin ointment and a Band-Aid until it heals is likely all that will have to be done.
  • However, I would definitely follow up with your plastic surgeon in the near future, so he/she can closely evaluate your breast.
  • Best of luck to you!

Joshua Cooper, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Small Infection After Breast Uplift

This looks like a low grade infection from a suture. If it is still present, your surgeon should remove it. If it has already fallen out, it will heal uneventfully. Do call your surgeon for advice. All the best. 

Breast implant breast uplift wound issue

Hello Babypag,

Your photos look as though you have had a nice early result - congratulations. However at 8 weeks post surgery that wound defect is not what I'd want to see. The implant might not be too far away and is would be very important to protect it from exposure (and possible infection). If you haven't yet done so, I think you need to make contact with your surgeon without delay and let him/her check your wound. This may well just be a suture coming through but your implant might be at risk if the wound has any depth.

Best wishes


Adrian Knox, MBBS, FRACS
Sydney Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Should I Be Worried- Small Infection After Breast Uplift?

Go see your surgeon ASAP! there care and treatment camn be provided in a medical manner. Do not self treat! 

Stitch abscess after breast lift

Hi Babypag

Your photos are indicative of a 'stitch abscess'. These happen from time to time with dissolvable sutures. They are just a breakdown of skin around a suture that is dissolving. 8 weeks out is a bit unlucky, but not a cause for concern.

I'd keep the area clean whilst it heals. I encourage my patients to use Chloromycetin ointment (the eye ointment) and cover the area with a band aid. They usually heal up within a week or so.

If you can see a small thread in the ulcer, see your surgeon and they will remove it for you and provide you with their advice on how to manage the area whilst it heals.

Good Luck

Dr Gavin Sandercoe

8 weeks post-op with incision issues

These are best reviewed with your surgeon but what you describe is most likely a stitch abscess and should resolve on its own, especially if you appreciated any material in the discharge.  Good wound care will lead to its resolution but if you experience spreading redness, you must contact your surgeon.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 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.