Open wound getting larger. (photos)

I had a breast reduction almost 6 weeks ago. I had a scab and after it was cleaned have been placing wet gauze on it twice a day. It is only getting bigger, what should I do?

Doctor Answers 4

Open wound after breast reduction. What should I do?

The first step is to call your Plastic Surgeon and let them know that this is happening.  While we are all happy to advise, it is essential that the surgeon that performed the procedure knows what is going on.  He/she will probably advise you then on local wound care.  As another surgeon mentioned, this is a relatively common area for separation but should heal fairly quickly as long as there is not sufficient tension on the closure. I hope that helps!

Open wound on breast reduction

You have an open wound of the T-junction of the breast reduction surgical site.  This is fairly common and it is related to incisions placed too tight, poor circulation, excess elevation of the skin flaps and most commonly moving around too much after surgery.  You have to realize the incisions and stitches are only so strong and they need time to heal and gain strength.  If you are using your arms by doing "normal" things the incisions will tend to split open.  This rarely happens the first week but happens more after two weeks.  When the pain subsides patients equate that with being healed and start moving around too much.  The incision then tears open.  The more you move the bigger it gets.  If there is any unhealthy tissue this must be cleaned and debrided.  Its best to cover open wound with Silvadene instead of letting it dry which deepens the wound.  Keep the silvadene on twice a day.  Cleans it with water and keep movement to a minimum until it has closed.   

Benjamin Chu, MD, FACS
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

Open wound getting larger after breast reduction.

Congratulations on having undergone the breast reduction procedure. The complication you are experiencing does happen occasionally (related to blood flow/tension in the area) and tends to go on to heal without long-term sequelae, except the possible need for scar revision in the future. At your stage of healing, sometimes the area opens further before it continues to close (sometimes wounds can look worse before they look better)… I would suggest continued close follow-up with your plastic surgeon.  Follow his/her instructions when it comes to wound care and keeping the area clean/covered. Sometimes, removal of an exposed suture and/or any unhealthy tissue present will help expedite the healing process. Best wishes for an outcome that you will be very pleased with long-term.

Breast reductin - open wound getting larger

Thank you for asking about your breast reduction.
  • Sometimes wounds will be larger than they appear.
  • However, sometimes they don't heal as expected and need more care.
  • Please return to your surgeon for the area to be checked, and for instructions on wound care and an appointment for follow-up.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

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.