2 Years After Augmentation I Found A Stitch Present, What Do I Do?

Hi, I got breast augmentation 2 years ago & recently I've been experiencing irritation around the incision scar only to discover that a stitch is still present & it has now forced its way through my skin. So there is a tiny hole in my areola w/ the tip of a stitch protruding. My skin has healed over the knot. Besides getting it removed what should I do? Is this considered malpractice? How should I address my surgeon? Coincidently this is the same breast that has developed capsular contracture.

Doctor Answers 15

2 Years After Augmentation I Found A Stitch, What Do I Do?Answer:

This is pretty common..One thing to remember is you do pay your surgeon to make your breasts bigger but you also are paying them to remove a stitch if it works its way to the surface and fix any problem you might have...In other words, always give them the chance to address your needs. That's what they do!!!

Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Retained stitch after breast augmentation

It is not uncommon to have a deep retained stitch surface after breast surgery. Often times, these stitches are made of absorbable material and your body will 'spit' the stitch before it gets a chance to absorb the stitch material. It sounds as though your stitch might have been a permanent stitch that has surfaced for some unknown reason. I would encourage you to follow-up with your surgeon so that the stitch may be removed. This will allow proper evaluation and appropriate care. In my opinion, a retained stitch that surfaces is not malpractice, simply a minor development in what sounds like an otherwise satisfactory outcome.

Antonio Gayoso, MD
Saint Petersburg Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Retained suture after breast augmentation

An exposed or protruding suture is not common to see 2 years after breast augmentation but it is not an emergency or serious condition, and it is not malpractice. I am not sure how your capsular contracture could be directly related to this now visible suture. The best action you can take is to go back to your plastic surgeon to evaluate your breasts and deal with the suture. If you have lost faith in your plastic surgeon, you could seek out another opinion. Good luck. 

Michael A. Epstein, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Breast Augmentation - 2 Years Post-Op I Found A Stitch

I would simply contact your PS and ask to have the suture removed.  Most surgeons use sutures that are dissolvable and/or on the skin may use stitches that need to be removed.  For any number of reasons, a suture that is supposed to be gone may still be there.  That alone is not malpractice in my opinion.  I would have your breast looked at by your surgeon (who's the only one who knows exactly what was done) and this episode will presumably be addressed and terminated quickly and simply.  Contracture is, of course, a well known and feared complication (or consequence, depending on how you define it) that is multi-factorial but generally poorly understood.  it would be a stretch to claim that a retained or undissolved suture caused the contracture.  My advice:  contact your PS, and take it from there.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Alan M. Engler, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Stitch surfacing


Thank you for your question!

It sounds like you are having a deep rooted permanent suture
surfacing, which is not something to be alarmed about. I would
definitely recommend contacting your board certified plastic surgeon
so he can take the proper steps to remove it.

Good luck!

Dr. Sam Speron

Sam Speron, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Stitch issue after breast augmentation

I wouldn't jump the gun about anything.  First, a suture that comes through the skin is quite common. SOme do not dissolve as well as others.  See your surgeon, and I am sure that he/she will take care of things for you.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Suture Removal 2 Years After Breast Augmentation

If any suture is used to close skin after surgery, it may work its way out over time. This is not malpractice but rather a normal thing for the body to do. Simply call your surgeon and explain the situation.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Spitting suture 2 years after breast augmentation

Deep sutures coming through the skin is a very common phenomenon though they are usually dissolvable ones that appear within the first 6 - 9 months after surgery. The suture that you are describing is a non-absorbable one instead. Treatment involves its removal. If the healed scar ends up noticeably wide from the inflammation, a scar revision can be performed (under local anesthesia in the office) though this situation is not too common.

If you are still in close proximity with your surgeon, contact him/her and most often they will remove it without issue.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Spitting suture after breast augmentation

Most surgeons will close an incision in multiple layers so as to avoid excessive tension on the skin closure, typically using absorbable sutures.  It is not uncommon for these sutures to "spit" sometimes, particularly at the site of the knot.  Sometimes, a small abscess can even form around the suture -- this is just your body reacting to the material in the suture.  In other situations, surgeons may even use non-absorbable sutures so that the scar does not widen.  

I would suggest that you contact your surgeon.  I'm sure that he or she will be more than happy to take care of the problem -- all that is usually necessary is to remove the suture.  And to answer your question, this is not considered malpractice nor is it likely to be related to the development of capsular contracture.

Anureet K. Bajaj, MD
Oklahoma City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Breast Augmentation and Lingering Suture

Sutures may sometimes persist after surgery particularly at the site of a suture knot.  I would show this to your board-certified plastic surgeon (ABPS) and often removal of the suture in the office can solve the problem.

I don;t know of any studies or evidence that this is related to capsular contracture after Breast Augmentation.

Jeff Scott, MD
Everett Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

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.