3 Months Post-Op breast lift and augmentation. Skin stretched a week after surgery. What can I do? (photo)

I had a breast lift/ augmentation. I am allergic to an infinite things and my skin is extra sensitive. Medical tape, gauze, these things make my skin irritated. Doctor recommended using Vaseline to help losen up the stitches. Two weeks after the operation I realize my wounds started to open. I've tried to close them with ointment (Bactroban) and hydrocolloid dressing but it's been 3 months now and my wound is getting bigger. He says he can't operate until it heals. What can I do?

Doctor Answers 6

Wound Healing Problem

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Dear patientnumber7, Your wound healing problem there is very puzzling. First you need to make sure any medical causes of poor healing are not present such as diabetes, smoking or autoimmune problems such as lupus etc. The puzzling part is normally when there is too much tension on the wound like this the wound will completely open up exposing the implant in which case it is a no brainer that the implant has to be removed and allow this to heal. It cannot simply be resewn closed because it starts the tension dehiscence process all over again. Three months is a long time, and I think you are going to have to have that implant removed to remove any tension and allow the breast to heal. I hope this has been helpful. Robert D. Wilcox, MD

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Breast Wounds After Surgery

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Your situation is very difficult and I understand your frustrations. Looking at your photo it appears the wounds are the result of the wounds separating or not staying closed. The most common cause is tension and would be consistent with a lift with an implant. Three months is a long time and it would be good to know if you have any healing issues like diabetes, a history of smoking or steriods. At this point an evaluation by a wound care specialist even at the physical therapy department at a hospital could help. Also, given the large size of the area a skin graft could be an option to expedite the healing. Afterwards, the skin grafts/scars can be excised to make the scars better. The main thing is to get you healed. Inquire with your surgeon about these options. If they are not knowledgeable about them then ask for a referral to a surgeon who is. Good Luck.

Jeffrey W. Hall, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Open wounds

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This is a risk all patients take when having implants and a lift with tightened skin. It does not come from sensitivity to tape or any other product. It is simply too much tension on the skin. You can wait several months for the tissues to heal and then have the acars revised or you can take out the implants so the skin is not too tight and have the open areas closed so they will heal quickly. The implant can be replaced in 2-3 months. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Wound after breast lift+aug

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Anytime plastic surgeons perform surgery, a common complication is some skin/wound breakdown. It appears you had a vertical lift with augmentation. At this point continuing his recommended wound care should have things closing/getting smaller, not bigger. If things seem to be enlarging, you should see him asap. There are some other treatments which could be performed, seeking a plastic surgeon who performs lots of complex wound care(say at a burn center or wound care center) may be a good second opinion. good luck with your recovery.

Wound healing concern

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Thanks for your inquiry, and sorry for your struggles.  I suggest you discuss with your surgeon what is his/her expected timetable so you feel more informed.  Patience can be a virtue, and best of luck.  

Postop wound healing

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Thanks for your question and the photo. I am so sorry that you are going through this. The wound appears to be granulating well and should eventually heal in with continued wound care. Because the skin is so thin there really isn't anything that can be done surgically at this point. I know it is frustrating but hang in there. Best of Luck!

M. Scott Haydon, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 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.