Delayed wound healing

Hi all, I have a question concerning a wound. I got the BR on march 24th. (It's my second breast reduction, I had one at 15 years old) Its now been two weeks post op, after the first week of surgery I had steri strips on the incisions and my PS removed the steri strips (a week and a 1/2 post op) and saw the two little places where it doesn’t seem to heal and told me it was going to be fine he was not worried. BTW my PS is a 3 hour drive from here… Then I got a bit worried because two days after the little hole seemed bigger (kind of scared the breast will fall and don't want to go thru an operation again!!) I know it's silly but couldn't help the thought. So I went to the ER, he said the white in the picture is totally normal that's the fat of the breast and that's what is going to close the breast it's the healing of the skin. That reassured me. He put a new steri strip between the two little wounds and said I would be fine. My question is if anybody had this issue, I saw that some have but there is no photos attached I just want to make sure these will heal and how much time does it take? I am off work for a month and I am anxious to see if it will take weeks, months and after does the wound look awful? BTW the other breast is healing perfectly that's why this is so frustrating ... I am 28 and in perfect health ... never smoked.. I take showers twice a day and apply new gauze... Any advice would be appreciated! I am worried and stressed out... ugh! Thanks!!! Update: Went to my family doctor this afternoon she couldnt look at the wound because of the gauze that was stuck there and she didn't have saline on hand. She still prescribed and ointment so the gauze doesn't stick in the wound. I just want to know if she's not the PS will I still be okay? He advice seems good I mean she's still a doctor.

Doctor Answers 7

Breast Reduction - Delayed Wound Healing

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Hi Worried Gal,

No complication is "good" but some are less bad than others...and in the greater scheme, this is one you'd rather have.

It's not unheard of to have wound healing problems after breast reduction surgery and it's often at or near the "inverted T" (the place where the vertical limb meets the horizontal limb) which is typically the point of maximum tension.  The risks of this are increased with people who smoke, who have medical problems (such as diabetes and small blood vessel disease), etc.

You should remain in close contact with your plastic surgeon.  Basic wound care, consisting of cleaning the wound, application of ointment as it starts to dry up and absorbent gauze until then, etc., should help as the wound closes on its own.  The resultant scar may be slightly thicker than it would otherwise have been but there's no way to know for sure and it's quite possible that it will heal extremely well. Either way, there's not much you can do about that at this point.

You should be fine; just continue to work with your plastic surgeon.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Delayed Wound Healing after Breast Reduction?

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Thank you for the question.

Superficial wound separation is not uncommon after breast reduction surgery. These areas tend to heal well with local wound care directed by your plastic surgeon.  This should not detract from the final results of your breast reduction procedure; it tends to be one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform.

Best wishes.

Open wound of breast after Breast Reduction

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I agree with the other posts.  You should keep in contact with your operating surgeon, but the wound should heal over the course of a few months, you will likely need a scar revision for best results, but this can be done under  a local anesthesia.  Good luck!

Delayed wound healing

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Sorry for your issues. Thanks for the posted photo. You have a wound separation due to either one or combination of factors. Wound closure to tight, skin pedicle de vascularized, fat necrosis, poor pre op planning due to previous reduction, or a combination. Once the wound is exposed the treatment is to allow re epithialization by secondary intention or just allowing the skin edges to heal over a few months. A scar will result that can be revise after 6 months. Best of luck. Yes the primary care doctor can treat

You will heal

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It doesn't happen often, but occassionally a vertical incision will open then be slow to heal.  I know its tough but if you will be patient it will heal, usually in a period of about a month.  Often times the scar will actually look pretty good after it heals, but if not a scar revision can be done simply with local anesthesia.

Hope this helps,

Dr T

Delayed healing after breast reduction

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Delay in healing in the 'T' pattern breast reduction is not at all uncommon, especially along the junction of lines forming the T. Photos can look just like yours, and all will eventually go on to heal fully. What you are doing with daily cleaning is right on track, though despite the distance, you should keep in contact with your plastic surgeon, or he should communicate directly with your family doctor if she plans to assume the care for your incision. Courage.

Best of luck,


Work together

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I'm sure your family doctor knows enough about wound care to help you, although these types of wounds can be complicated if not treated properly.  I recommend get explicit directions from your plastic surgeon regarding the wound care.  Tell him you would like to follow up with your family doctor since it is such a long drive.  He may want to discus the treatment with her to be sure you are getting the best care.  This is a complication that happens occassionally. You are not the only patient that has had this.  It will heal.  It may leave more of a scar that could require some treatment after it is completely healed.  Have confidence in your surgeon.

E. Anthony Musarra II, MD
Atlanta 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.