Ext TT & BL & Reduction. 5 wks & still have one drain tube in abd. Both breast have tunneling and unusual looking scar. (photo)

1. I know scar opening can happen. I am packing both areas. How long does it generally take for the tunneling to completely heal? 2. Are the folded vertical suturing normal I have not seen any photos like this? 3. I still have 1 drain tube going on 5 weeks post op. Is there anything I can do or not do to help reduce fluid production. Still draining 70-90cc a day. 4. Does my left nipple look off center. Not a huge concern to me. Back history lost 50 pounds. Had apron 14 pounds removed.

Doctor Answers 4

Mommy make-over recovery....not healing after 5 weeks

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Thank you for asking about your mommy make-over recovery.
  • You had a lot of surgery and things should look fine in the end.
  • For now, the folded suturing may be from inflammation and should settle down.
  • The tunnelling can take a long time to heal - as long as the tissues are healthy and the tunnel getting smaller, it will heal by itself.
  • The drainage is a nuisance - your surgeon can culture the fluid to see if it is infected or irritate it with antibiotic solution - so ask her/him if thisnis a possibility.
    Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Those breast wounds can easily take 10-16 weeks from surgery to fully heal given proper care. The drain has been in a long time but can not be removed until drainage volume is reduced. Some surgeons will irrigate the pocket (through the drain) with an Iodine/Antibiotic(doxycycline)/dilute steroid solution which commonly stops the drainage within a couple days.

Incisions and Scars

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
It may take several months for a patient’s scars to soften, for sensation to return, and for relaxing of the tight sensation in the abdomen. In the case of extensive surgery, abdominoplasty recovery can be uncomfortable and may take longer. Scars may stay red, become thick or widen. It can take 12-18 months for the scars to settle. These can be improved with topical treatments such as BioCorneum, Scar Guard, Scar Fade and Mederma. Redness can be improved with laser treatments and the scars can be kept narrow with products such as Embrace.  On occasion, keloids or hypertrophic scars can develop and will need treatment including Kenalog, 5FU and laser.You have every right to be concerned about the healing of your incisions and whether scarring is proceeding well. If you have any discomfort or concern at all you should not hesitate to contact your surgeon to have the area evaluated in person and make sure that healing is progressing properly. Best of luck!

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Mommy makeover wound issues.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Thank you for sharing your question and photographs and I am sorry to hear of your incisional site openings.  In answer to your questions it will take a couple of months for these tunneling issues to fully resolve and have your breast tissue soften and appear more natural in shape and consistency.  The vertical skin excess will stretch and improve in appearance with time.  As long as the insertion site of your drain appears healthy it is best to leave your drain in place to avoid seroma formations but your surgeon should follow you along closely to ensure this.  Your left nipple does appear more laterally placed but may be affected by the positioning of your upper arm.  Hope this helps. 

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 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.