Wounds opening 4 weeks after breast augmentation. Can I avoid removal? (Photo)

I had my surgery on the 2nd of June. 2 weeks after surgery my implant was exposed and my surgoen re-cut and re-stitched me? It's been about 2 weeks and I was ment to get my stitches out 2 days ago though my wounds are opening again so I thought I'd wait. My surgoen didn't bandage me after surgery and I got given a cheap bra from a local store, Kmart. What do I do about this? I don't trust my surgoen anymore after reading bad reviews

Doctor Answers 15

Wounds opening 4 weeks after breast augmentation. Can I avoid removal?

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I am sorry to hear about the complication you have experience; this is especially stressful if you have lost confidence in your plastic surgeon. Photographs cannot replace physical examination but your photograph is concerning. Upon close examination, there does seem to be an opening with a dark structure underneath; most often in situations like yours, this dark object is the breast implant.  Sorry, but if this is the case, given your past history, you will most likely be best off removing the breast implant (re augmentation will be possible down the line). Follow up with your plastic surgeon or a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon in your area. Best wishes for a long-term outcome you will be pleased with.

Inframammary Breast Augmentation Incision Opening Up 4 Weeks Post Op - Can I Avoid Implant Removal?

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I am sorry you are going through this.  If you were my patient and an implant got exposed two times within two weeks, the safest course of action is to remove the implant (before you get infected), let the breast heal, and consider a reaugmentation in 2-3 months.

Obviously, you are disappointed about losing the implant, but the implant is less important than your health.  One of the many reasons I dislike inframammary incisions for breast augmentation is that the incision is in contact with the bottom of the bra which increases the chance of the wound opening up.  In addition, with no dressing on a newly sutured incision, this can lead to not only the wound opening up but also a difficult to deal with infection.

In rare instances, once the patient is on antibiotics prescribed by an infectious disease physician and under very controlled conditions, I will freshen and resuture a suture line having  an exposed implant.  This is a very chancy procedure, but if the infectious disease physician agrees and the patient understands the risk, I have been successful in resuturing these wounds with exposed implant.  When you have two exposures in two weeks under unsterile conditions, I would not recommend any course of action other than implant removal.

Since you state you have lost trust in your plastic surgeon, I highly recommend you immediately find a new Board Certified plastic surgeon and follow his or her advice with reference to your implant, open wound, and the possibility of any future reaugmentation.

Wound Opening Following Breast Augmentation

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I am very sorry to hear that you are going through this problem.  This is a problem that is seen very infrequently and as much as it is upsetting you, I am sure your plastic surgeon is likewise frustrated.  There are many reasons why this can be happening, perhaps the implant is too big for your skin to handle.  Maybe you have had previous breast surgeries that can compromise healing with this surgery.  Other questions to think about:  are you a smoker, how is your nutrition, were you too active too quickly after surgery, is the bra sitting on your incision site too tight?  Are there any other underlying conditions that can contribute to this problem?  However, the ultimate and safe solution for this problem is to strongly consider implant removal.  Let your breasts heal from this trauma for approximately 6-12 months and then reconsider breast re-augmentation.  Additionally, if and when you consider breast re-augmentation you may want to consider going a smaller size.  I would sit down with your plastic surgeon and review why this is happening.  Also consider seeking an evaluation by another board certified plastic surgeon.  I hope this helps and best of luck to you!        

Jon Paul Trevisani, MD, FACS
Maitland Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Implant loss

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It sounds and looks like you might be having issues with your implant being exposed. If this is the case, you might require it to be removed and you may have to  opt to start all over in a few months.

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

Breast implant exposure after augmentation

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A breast implant exposure always requires attention and I would not advise waiting any longer.  If there is concern for infection, then the implants will need to be removed.  If not, then the reason the implants are becoming exposed needs to be determined.  Issues to be considered would include whether the implants are above or below the muscle, are the implants too big for the soft tissue to support at this stage, and was a proper layered closure completed.
It is always a good idea to express your concern to your surgeon.  However, if you have lost confidence in your surgeon, then consider a second opinion with a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Alex N. Mesbahi, MD
McLean Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Implant exposure

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I am sorry you are experiencing this. You have lost confidence in your surgeon, so at this point you probably want to seek out a second opinion. Your chances of having a salvage procedure actually work have diminished. Understand that there isn't a great chance that a second procedure would work any better than the first. You will probably have to have them removed and inserted again at a later time. This would be a good time to evaluate what factors led to the exposure. Perhaps there is something you can change for a better result in the future.

Tracy E. McCall, MD
Milwaukee Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Breast Augmentation eound healing issues...

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Thanks for you question and your photos. I am sorry you are going through this.  Despite an attempt at re-closing your incisions, I think you still have wound healing issues.  It is challenging to make a diagnosis and to given important clinical recommendations based on photos, but I strongly suggest you either return to your surgeon or find another Board Certified Plastic Surgeon that could meet you and assist in your care. It appears that you need to have your implants removed and your tissue cared for. I hope this was helpful and best of luck.

Wound breakdown four weeks after breast augmentation is a bad sign.

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The photograph is very concerning. It looks as though the implant is trying to work through the incision. If this is the case there may be benefit in removing the implant completely and allowing the area to heal.

Exposed implant

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I'm always sorry to read about problems like this. Although I wouldn't want to make a diagnosis based upon the photo alone, it appears that the implant  on the photographed side is exposed, and given the fact that there has already been one "rescue" procedure, may advice would be to have the implant removed.  After about six (or more--some prefer at least 12) weeks following complete healing of the incision, another implant can be inserted. 

A second opinion would be a good consideration.  All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Breast Augmentation

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Thanks for your question. Wound healing issues this far after a breast augmentation (especially after implant exposure) are indicative of a pocket infection. This will most likely result in removal of the implants. Please return to your plastic surgeon. 

All the best,

Dr. Results
Miami, FL

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.