I'm scared that I have an infection. My areola literally is coming off and it bleeds a lot. What should I do? (Photo)

I got a breast augmentation done 3 weeks ago and last week my right areola started to "disappear". I'm not really sure what the right word would be for it. It's like the stitches have popped and my areola just keeps moving down and I am scared that it's going to keep going away until it's not there anymore.. I am 22 and have never been a smoker and am in really good health so I don't understand why it's doing this. I would call my surgeon but she does not answer the phone when i have called

Doctor Answers 22

Wound healing issues 3 weeks after Breast Augmentation

Thank you for your question, and images.

It appears that you have a significant wound healing concern.

I would suggest a visit with your plastic surgeon as soon as possible to help minimize any further complications. 

If you remain unsuccessful in contacting your surgeon, perhaps his office can refer you to a colleague for an evaluation. 

I hope this helps,

Sergio Pasquale Maggi, MD, FACS
Austin Plastic Surgery Center
drmaggi.com

Nipple trouble...

the photos are very helpful and descriptive. this looks like healing stress. it could be from swelling. this area that is open needs to be surgically cleaned up and closed. if your surgeon does not answer, that is unacceptable. poor wound healing can happen to anyone, without any other medical problems. the tissue looks very healthy and an early wound closure should be possible. you should get a very nice result from this, be patient.

Wound healing problems after breast augmentation

I am sorry about your issue and even sorrier that you can't get in touch with your surgeon. It looks like you had a breast augmentation and areolar reduction or lift. The good news is that it looks like the right side wound has broken down. I see no signs of infection or dead tissue. I believe you can still have a good result, but you need a plastic surgeon to manage the wound. This may help prevent abnormal scarring, infection,etc. You will need some type of revision in the future, but this is not a disaster. Do your best to contact your surgeon. If you can't get a hold of her, find another and make an appointment. The new surgeon may be able to contact her and help resolve this problem. Unfortunately a trip to the ER will not help. The doctors there will have no idea what they are looking at or what to do.

Eric Weiss MD

Eric Weiss, MD, FACS
Orange Park Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Wound separation

What I see in your photograph, is one separation of the areola from the circle it was initially sewn into. The right breast also appears to be larger than the left which may signify a small amount of bleeding. I recommend you see your plastic surgeon ASAP. If you can't find yours find one through the emergency room. This needs to be dealt with urgently. Good luck.

Marc J. Salzman, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

3 weeks Post Op

I would suggest seeing another board certified plastic surgeon in your area to better assess what's going on in person. Best Of Luck.

Breast augmentation wounds

You need to be seen by your surgeon ASAP.  It appears that you have had incisions around your entire areola.  From the photos, it looks like the closures have come apart.


Recheck the numbers that you are using.  All surgeons have call coverage after hours or when they are away.  This problem needs attention...today.

Scared that I have an infection.

Your photos are quite alarming, and we suggest you see your surgeon today, and if they cannot see you a trip to the emergency department is the next step.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Wound healing problems

I am sorry you are having a problem. It looks like you have had significant wound separation but it does not look like you have an infection our that any of the tissue is dying. So all that is good. However you have a problem with healing which will take some time to take care of itself. 
You should be seeing your surgeon on a frequent basis to manage your wound. I find it hard to believe that your surgeon will not respond to your calls. However if this is the case try to get in to see another board certified plastic surgeon. If all else fails go to an emergency department and they can refer you to a surgeon. But you should be seen today. 
This will take some time, but with proper wound care this will heal. And you may eventually need a scar revision. 
Best of luck. 

David B. Reath, MD
Knoxville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

I'm scared that I have an infection. My areola literally is coming off and it bleeds a lot. What should I do?

Sorry for your severe posted complication of wound dehiscence and infection. Are you NOT seeing your chosen surgeon every few days??? Maybe seek and pay for second opinions from boarded PSs in TN. 

I'm scared that I have an infection. My areola literally is coming off and it bleeds a lot. What should I do?

Hello alpaige22,

Thank you for sending the images.  It appears you had a peri-areolar lift along with your augmentation.  I do not see an overt infection; however, it is clear your incision has separated and you are seeing fat and granulation tissue herniating (pushing out).  My guess is this has been present for some time as the granulation tissue (the red/pink areas) is relatively mature.  I agree with the others commentaries - see your plastic surgeon immediately or another plastic surgeon nearby immediately! Hang in there.

Hunter Moyer, MD
Atlanta 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.