I had a bilateral mastectomy almost 5 months ago and incision still hasn't healed! Should I get a second opinion?

I am 45 year old female,5'1" 117 lbs. I had a bi lateral mastectomy in july2015 it is now November and I have two small holes in the incision that have never healed. The area is about 2cm by. 1/2 inch in the right breast. It has been revised 3x. Today I noticed a little leaking and when I pushed it fluid came out projectile at first then a lot more came out. After draining it feels very soar another revision scheduled in December combined with a hysterectomy

Doctor Answers 5

Post mastectomy nonhealing wound.

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I am sorry you are having issues with your surgical site. I am concerned with your wound. Certain risk factors including, smoking, radiation, age, diabetes, autoimmune etc can exacerbate healing issues but whatever the cause, this needs to be addressed. Any compromise in the wound can lead to infection of the underlying implant which can lead to loss of the implant completely. I would speak to your plastic surgeon but if you do not get a satisfactory answer, get a second opinion. Reexcision of the wound, and wash out of the implant with antibiotic solution may be indicated. If the skin is ischemic, that is, has insufficient blood supply to heal, hyperbaric oxygen therapy may be useful as well. If you have drainage, immediate action must be taken to prevent worsening infection. IF you had a mastectomy without implant reconstruction, the risk is less concerning and secondary healing of an open wound may be sufficient using gauze, vacuum or other dressings. Good luck and take care

Poor wound healing after Mastectomy surgery

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If there is artificial material present, Im concerned about inflammation/comtamination of expanders or implants. I would also be worried about removing implants or expanders and simply replacing them if there has been prolonged seroma fluid present or a wound that has opened repeatedly. I would also want to know if there was prior radiation exposure or skin death/poor healing around the time of the initial surgery. If any of these answers are "yes" then changing direction towards using tissue instead of implant based reconstruction  may need to be discussed if that is what is planned with your team at this point.

Heather Richardson, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Bilateral mastectomy and incision problems

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Sorry to hear that you have experienced incision problems following your mastectomy.  Posting a photo could help.   Additionally, other treatments like chemotherapy and/or radiation may prolong wound healing.   Finally, was reconstruction performed?

Joseph Franklin, MD
Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews


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Posting a picture would be helpful in addition to the type of surgery performed for the reconstruction. 


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I take it you did not have reconstruction yet? It's hard to say for sure what is going on without seeing the wound. The area may be breaking down and opening up if there is infection or a fluid collection present such as a seroma. Given that you describe a large rush of fluid a seroma is certainly possible. Continue to follow up with your doctor, but you you are not improving, it may be okay to have a plastic surgeon take a look. 

Nicholas A. Flugstad, MD
Bellevue Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 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.