Is This Wound Separation?

I started noticing some yellow on the bottom of my breast incision. I also noticed some redness. I think it may be wound separation. HELP!?

Doctor Answers 15

Wound separation after breast reduction

This is wound separation which always looks way awful and much more serious than it usually is.  See your surgeon so he/she can trim away any dead skin and get you doing proper wound care - usually just a daily shower and a dressing.  This will take a few weeks to heal in but will not likely affect your final result.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, M.D.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

T junction separation

The T can separate in some breast reductions without any real problem in the final result.  It will shrink and heal over a few weeks. 

Is This Wound Separation

It appears that you have some necrosis and separation at the inverted T scar area. This is the area of the wound where the tension is the greatest and this problem occurs here with some frequency.  The area usually heals with local care and the scar is acceptable.

Paul Vitenas, Jr., MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Wound Separation after Breast Reduction?

Thank you for the question.

Superficial wound separation is not uncommon after breast reduction surgery. These areas tend to heal well with local wound care directed by your plastic surgeon.  This should not detract from the final results of your breast reduction procedure; it tends to be one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform.

Best wishes.

Yellow ooze means an infection. Yes!

SOUND LIKE AN INFECTION.   Go see your surgeon.  You may need some simple wound care and antibiotics and all will be well.  This happens to the best of patients and surgeons  and is easily resolved.  See your surgeon immediately.  You will be fine.

Wound separation after breast reduction

Yes, this is a localized wound separation or dehiscence. It is very common after breast reduction as this is the point of greatest tension along the closure line. It is easily treated with antibiotic ointment and dressing changes. The wound will heal completely within a few weeks so don't be overly concerned.

Richard Chaffoo, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

4 reasons why breast incisions separate

Separation, or dehiscence, of breast incisions can occur for one or more of several reason:

1) Too much tension on the skin incision (inadequate volume reduction)

2) Tobacco use (smoking) before and after surgery compomises circulation to the skin

3) Need for re-operation (i.e. for a hematoma) can cause additional trauma to the tissue

4) Previous radiation (breast cancer patients)

Kevin Brenner, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Wound Separation Not Uncommon

Your pictures demonstrate wound separation along both the transverse and vertical limbs of your breast closure.Unfortunately, wound separations aren’t unusual following this type of procedure for a variety of reasons.
When patients undergo breast reduction, skin flaps are wrapped around a central pedicle of breast tissue that supports the blood supply to the nipple areola complex.The area where the transverse incision meets the vertical incision is at significant risk for breakdown because the flaps in this location may have poor blood supply.In addition, the weight of the pedicle may exert significant downward force upon the closure where it’s weakest because of poor blood supply.
In patients who have extremely large breasts the skin may manifest significant thinning.Under these circumstances sutures may not hold which might lead to breakdown as well.Furthermore, these patients have high levels of bacterial and fungal growth from years of rashes beneath the breast folds.This can also significantly affect the potential for wound separation.
Wound separation following breast reduction usually heals nicely with local wound care and dressing changes.Rarely they become secondarily infected and require antibiotics as well.Scar revisions are occasionally necessary, but this is unusual.
Even when breast reduction patients have areas of wound separation, the clinical results following this procedure are excellent.After wound healing is complete levels of patient satisfaction are high as well.

Spitting buried sutures after a breast reduction

It looks more like you are having some spitting of buried sutures.  These cause small red bumps that get larger and become tender and drain.  To treat these areas you need to have the suture knots removed.  

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

Breast Reduction - Post Op, Wound Separation Healing ?Infection

Hi thequeenbee1979 in Saint Marys, Ohio,

Well, you should certainly contact your plastic surgeon.  That is rule number one for anyone who's had surgery recently (in the past few weeks or months) and is having a concern.  There is simply no substitute for the relationship a patient has with his or her surgeon.

The good news, though, is that this does not look like it will be a huge problem.  Instead, it looks like you have some wound separation, which is relatively common after this procedure.  It can usually be treated expectantly (ie, with wound care) and usually heals pretty well, although it will take longer than if it had healed without this problem.  And the ultimate scars may be slightly wider and/or thicker than otherwise, although that's not an absolute.  Just a brief heads-up.

You may need to go on some antibiotics for a short period of time, just until things are stabilized.

In short, most likely not a big problem, but something you should definitely contact your plastic surgeon about.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

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.