1 Year Post Op and Having Problems with Permanent Stitches Around my Areola and Pus Like Substance? (photo)

I am 1 yr post op. At first I was told were some spitting stitches. But what started as just one, slowly became 3 all around my aerola. One completely healed up a few months ago, but at the moment I have 3 sore spots (1 in my actual aerola) that fill with pus. When I clean the pus up I can see what my surgeon said is a permanent stitch (white tape like stitch, to stop the aerola from spreading). I have tried 3 wks of anti-biotics to get rid of the infection but it hasn't worked. What's going on?

Doctor Answers 15

1 Year Post Op and Having Problems with Permanent Stitches Around my Areola and Pus Like Substance?

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Sorry to hear of your concerns. Unfortunately, once the permanent supporting suture becomes exposed, it needs to be removed so your tissues will heal. Much like your body will spits out a sliver in your finger. After removed, your areolas may stretch and widen.

Cincinnati Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Post Operative Infection of Suture

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Your pictures are very helpful. It appears that you have multiple suture abscesses. The treatment for this problem is to have them removed. This will remove the foreign body, your suture, from the wound and allow for your body to fight off the localized infection. It would be rare that such an infection has to be treated with antibiotics. If you do not remove the suture, the bacteria will have a place to "hide" from any attempts by your body to eradicate the infection. This will also hamper the ability of the antibiotics to affect the infection as the antibiotics will not penetrate the area around a foreign material in adequate amounts to kill the infection.

If removal of the suture causes an alteration to your results, this can be fixed later. You must first remove any infectious processes. Good luck.

Get them removed

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These need to be removed, as your body will continue to try to spit them out. Please return to your surgeon to discuss this.

Ronald Levine, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

1 Year Post Op and Having Problems with Permanent Stitches Around my Areola and Pus Like Substance?

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Thanks for photos. Best to have the suture removed under local anesthesia. This will allow full healing in those areas. 

Infected permanent sutures

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This is typical of an infected permanent suture that needs to be removed.  It should not be repaired until after your body has had time to resolve the infection without the foreign material in place (several months at least).

Leonard T. Yu, MD
Maui Plastic Surgeon

Suture Problem After Lift

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This is the unfortunate problem that can occur with this technique and the type of suture used. Being that you are one year out this is likely a problem that will not resolve on it's own. My recommendation would be to return to your surgeon and see if they feel a good option would be to remove the suture to help cure the problem. Best of luck to you!

Richard J. Brown, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Permanent sutures to maintain areolar size

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If your permanent sutures are infected, they should be removed and the area cleaned out. The areola may need revision.

Periareolar suture and drainage

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If you see the stitch and there is drainage, then this will not go away compeltley withou remvoving the stitch.  It is doubtful that at a year the areoal will stretch further.  It can always be revised in a few months if it does so, but I think the suture needs to be removed. Good luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Problem can and should be fixed surgically

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Thank you for the photo.  I would recommend removal of both sutures and waiting until the infection has gone away completely.  At that time you may choose to undergo a revision areolaplasty where another permanent suture is placed to reduce the areola size and keep the incision thin.  Although there is a theoretical chance of infection we use permanent products, including implants, all the time with very low chances of infection.  If you do undergo another areolaplasty I would still recommend a permanent suture and this should be a gortex suture.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Removal of permanent stitch

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Since you are one year out that stitch is not helping with the lift and areolar reduction at all. The milk ducts have bacteria in them, as does the skin.  These are contributing to the prbolems with the suture, as it is just below the skin. 

I would definitely recommend seeing your plastic surgeon about having the stitches removed.

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.