Why is my Incision Tearing Open 4 Weeks Post Breast Reduction?

The first two weeks postop I was sore but not uncomfortable and everything seemed to be healing till now. My right side vertical incision and my left horizontal feels like its tearing apart. I've had to be aspirated on both sides twice, the last time was 120 cc on the left and 180 on the right. Is the seroma causing the two pieces of skin to pull apart? What can I do to alleviate the "tearing" pain? Im not concerned about the actual healing of a wound I just want it to stop getting worse.

Doctor Answers 5

Postoperative Complications

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Dear Brooklyn Mom,

I'm willing to bet you are not the only one losing sleep about this situation. Postoperative complications are truly distressing to patients and surgeons alike.

One complication after reduction mammoplasty is what you are experiencing--seroma. Other complications include infection, dog-ears, and incisional breakdown. More serious problems are nipple necrosis (tissue death) and large incisional breakdowns. It sounds like your skin is tearing too. Any patient of mine that isn't on target postoperatively becomes top priority; I see them very frequently, and am not satisfied until things start to improve.

You asked why this is happening. Well, two predictors for postoperative drainage are amount of tissue resected and the type of reduction, but there are others. Research bears this out, and is often aimed at ways to prevent seroma (like using drains with certain techniques.) Hopefully your surgeon is able to discuss things like bra fit, wound care, how active you can be and which movements to avoid. A general rule of thumb is--if it hurts, don’t do it. And although postoperative complications are undesirable, one of the most important parts of being a surgeon is knowing how to manage them.

Best of luck to you, and I certainly hope things head in the right direction.




Breast incision opening

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Thank you for your question and for sharing your experience with us. You will find that every few days the wound will get smaller. Once the wound closes, it will go through a great deal of remodelling and in many cases become very acceptable in appearance. If there is a remaining indentation or widening of the scar that is unacceptable, then I would recommend waiting six months to year before undergoing any minor revision. It is important that you stay in touch with your surgeon throughout this process.  Repeated seroma evacuation may be needed to keep the breasts decompressed.

Why is my Incision Tearing Open 4 Weeks Post Breast Reduction

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Than you for your question.  Please see your Plastic Surgeon for an examination of your pain and recurrent seromas.  Best wishes

Concerns after Breast Reduction?

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Always  best to check with your own plastic surgeon about concerns after surgery.  If still in doubt, a second opinion with a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area may be helpful to you.
Online consultants will not be able to provide you with meaningful diagnosis, treatment recommendations, or reassurance.
Best wishes;  hopefully, you will be very pleased with the  long-term outcome of the breast reduction procedure.

Breast reduction issues

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I am sorry for your problems. It sounds like you need to follow very closely with your doctor. I am not sure why you would have repeated seromas after a breast reduction.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

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