Concerns with 'Stitch Infection' After Breast Augmentation

Hello, My wife had a breast augmentation 17 days ago. At her one week appointment, the PS replaced the steri-strips. Her left breast is still quite open. The emergency PS took a look at these pictures and said she has a stitch infection. We felt like the PS didn't appropriately address these concerns at her 1 week appt - could we get a 2nd opinion on the abcess and advise on if this could have been avoided by more care at the 1 week appt?

Doctor Answers 11

Moving forward......

I agree with colleagues in that most likely things looked fine one week ago, as it takes time for even infections to develop. It is not uncommon to develop these superficial infections or "stitch abscess," etc. The most important thing is that the wound is adequate cared for, i.e. washed out, any residual infection removed, and careful observation along with antibiotics. You wany to make sure the infection is care for, is not delayed, and doesn't progress. Usually, these heal very well, and if necessary down the road, the resultant scars (if any) can be revised within a few minutes under local anesthesia. 

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Breast augmentation complications

Based on the picture you provided it looks like more than the breast augmentation was performed (? mastopexy also). Most likely, your wife's incisional opening is related to a “stitch abscess”. I do not think there was necessarily anything done incorrectly at the one-week postop visit. I suggest continued follow-up with your surgeon. These types of superficial wounds generally heal well over the course of a few weeks.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews


Thank you for the question and photo.  It appears the sutures have caused the infection based on your photo but this is not uncommon.  You should visit your board-certified plastic surgeon and have the sutures removed or maybe he or she has another solution to the matter.  Best of luck. Dr. Michael Omidi.

An in-person exam with a board-certified plastic surgeon is the best way to assess your needs and provide true medical advice.

Michael M. Omidi, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Breast Enhancement Surgery

These things do happen from time to time, they happen for a number of reasons, luckilly they heal well and should not influence your long term outcome 

Ryan Neinstein, MD, FRCSC
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Infection following augmentation

Infection following breast augmentation should be rare. If it occurs, even in the wound, I believe it should be treated aggressively. This would most likely not show up at your one month post op visit.

William D. Merkel, MD
Grand Junction Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Infection After Breast Augmentation

Based on the photo, it appears that some type of breast lift was also done. It is possible to have superficial breakdown of the incision around the areola (which is what appears to have happened in photo) either from a stitch infection or boarderline circulation to the areola. Both are known and accepted risks of the combined breast augmentation and lift procedure. The only treatment is local wound care and antibiotics if there is any evidence of soft tissue infection. I do not see anything that has been done improperly by her plastic surgeon. It will likely heal without any serious problems.

Joseph Fata, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Superficial wound infection after a PA incision breast augmentation

It appears that you have a suture knot that has become infected and worked its way to the surface.  The suture needs to be removed.  Once removed the area will heal normally.  Hopefully the deeper tissues are not involved. The only real problem that could occur is if the implant gets infected.  Proper wound care should get it healed up.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Stitch abscess

Usually stitich abscess develop several weeks to months after surgery and commonly heal on their own without much intervention besides local wound care.  Keep a close eye on it with your doctor.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Stitch abscess

Without knowing more details of the surgery or seeing your wife in person, it is impossible to give specific advice.  Also, it does appear that more than just breast augmentation was performed since the incision goes all the way around the areola.  This is the incision for a circumareolar lift which can be combined with a breast augmentation.  With this type of lift, there is extra stress on the incision when compared to a traditional lift.  Regardless, it appears that she has a small wound separation which may have been caused by a  stitch abscess.  This is just a superficial inflammation and is much different than a true "abscess" in the deeper tissues. The rest of the breast appears healthy with on overwhelming infection, so you should expect the area to heal quite nicely with some localized wound care.


Good luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

What did the wound look like at 1 week?

Dear lady,

all depends on the aspect of the wound at the 1 week check-up.  It is possible that at that time no signs of infection were present. 

Normally, with proper wound care and antibiotics from now, this would should close without any problem.

Alexis Verpaele, MD
Belgium Plastic Surgeon

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.