Severe reaction to breast lift. Skin split apart. Reaction started about 2 weeks after operation. Please help! (Photo)

The skin split apart at the wounds and wounds kept growing. I was treated with steroids, which took a while to slow down the reaction (about a month) However now I am still experiencing swelling and round painful spots around the wounds 7 months after. The surgeon has no idea what could have caused this. The suture material used was monocryl for dissolvable and prolene for the removable. I was tested for autoimmune diseases and nothing came up. I am getting a revision in a few months. Any ideas?

Doctor Answers 7

Risks of Breast Lift Surgery

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Regarding post-op healing, from our office the patient will go home in a bra or with only light dressings over the incision lines. Sutures are dissolvable but an ending knot, if present is removed within 1-2 weeks. Initial discomfort is easily controlled with oral medication. Light activities may be started in 7-10 days. 

The worst risks of surgery are usually under the breast with an #AnchorLift or inverted “T”. These can be treated like all thickened scars with re-excision, laser, kenalog/5-FU injections, creams, silicone strips and other methods to reduce and improve healing. It appears, though that you may need to see if you can get in to have these checked in person by your surgeon before the revision. Contact your surgeon immediately to have these issues looked at and ensure that everything can be recovered properly. Best wishes, and hope your feel better soon!

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Severe reaction to breast lift. Skin split apart. Reaction started about 2 weeks after operation. Please help!

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Hello dear, thanks for your question and provided information as well… Get to your surgeon as soon as possible for a revision!!!
I have to say that you are still early on healing process, it is too soon to determine how your results are going to be, per now, they look very nice and beautiful, you can have one bigger than the other, feel swollen and also have bruises and open wounds, it is normal and that can happen for the first 3 to 4 months until your implants have settle in. I recommend you to wait and keep using your post surgical bra, that will help you with the shape and support. Hugs!

Tania Medina de Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 441 reviews

Slow healing after mastopexy

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 The conditions seen of your breast after breast lift are usually caused by insufficient blood supply to the end of the tissues that have been separated. While there are many wound care supportive measures that will allow this to heal, commonly some type of revision would have to be done to bring good looking skin back on each side. At the same time, the right areola where there appears to be some pigment loss likewise  can be revised. I'm not familiar with steroid treatment for an open wound caused by vascular insufficiency in the breast. I would be careful about injecting steroids into this area as they may cause a severe thinning of the tissues making exposure of the implant more possible. I don't think this is related to allergy from sutures. Continue follow-up with your board-certified plastic surgeon. Good luck on your revision.

Marc J. Salzman, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

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WOund issue

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Many different things can cause the problem you have. It can be technical, it can be quality of the tissue, smoking history, etc..

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

Breast lift not healing - how will revision go?

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Thank you for asking about your breast lift.
  • I have not heard of steroids being injected for a post-operative dehiscence.
  • Generally the reason for your healing problem is the skin was pulled too tight and could not heal.
  • I would strongly recommend that you not be given steroids of any kind during or after your revision.
  • Silicone tape strips might reduce thick scars around the nipple - or a permanent suture may be an option.
  • The lumpy scars suggest that a revision of the scars might help but if all the discolored skin ialong the vertical incision s removed, the same problem seems likely arise.
  • Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Best wishes - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Severe reaction to breast lift. Skin split apart. Reaction started about 2 weeks after operation. Please help!

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Sorry for the postop complication of wound dehiscence. To me not an allergic issue but a technical one, of to tight a closure?

Wound Seperation

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Thank you for your question and photos. This is actually a relatively common problem, to varying degrees, seen in breast lift and breast reduction. This problem is known as wound dehiscence and is not likely related to an allergy or underlying medical condition. Smoking can certainly be a contributing factor but Im guessing that's not an issue here. Fortunately, this will heal with time and dressing changes. Your tissue looks healthy. Patience will certainly be required as this does take time to close. Once closed I would wait several months for the tissue to soften and consider scar revision as needed. 
Best of Luck

Lee A. Gibstein, MD
Miami 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.