How Serious is an Incision Opening 4 Weeks After Breast Augmentation?

I had implants 12 years ago over the muscle and it was amazing. They looked great, recovery was 2 days. They started to look very firm and fake and it appeared I had some scar tissue. Therefore, I decided to go under the muscle. It's been a nightmare. Pain still after 4 weeks, they sit very high, they look uneven and when I lean forward the skin hangs giving it a tubular look. I wear a painful band at night, I do massages all the time and now after 4 weeks my incision reopened. Is this normal? Should I avoid working out?

Doctor Answers 9

Incision opening

An incision opening can be many different things at many different levels. Uusally at 4 weeks it is possibly a suture extrusion. If there is drainage it may be more significant and the implant can become exposed.  The best thing to do it see your surgeon to be evaluated.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Open Incision following breast augmentation

If your incision has reopened 4 weeks after breast augmentation you should notify your surgeon immediately and make an appointment to see them as soon as possible.  In the meantime, keep the incison clean and apply a topical antibacterial ointment such as neosporin or ploysporin.   Avoid working out until you see your physician.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Breast Augmentation Incision Opening

Most likely an incisional opening after four weeks at the lower breast fold is superficial and does not  extend deep and expose the implant. I would get evaluated by your plastic surgeon to make sure it is just that. Until you get evaluated, I would stop massaging and banding to avoid any undue stress on the incisional opening. Otherwise there is a big difference between implants that were initially placed above the muscle and changing them years laters due to capsular  problems to a submuscular position. They are not comparable operations in terms of recovery.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 71 reviews

Incision Opened After Breast Augmentation

A small and superficial opening may be due to a suture working its way out. However, you should notify your surgeon to make sure it is no more serious.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

If the implant is exposed it's a problem

If the incision is only open superficially and there are no signs of infection like redness, drainage, or fever then it may be OK and may heal over time. Your doctor of course should monitor this with you and treat accordingly. If the wound is completely open, exposing the implant, then something needs to be done ASAP. Dependinhg on drainage and other factors it may be possible to irrigate and close the incision, but the success rate is probably 50/50. Each doctor handles this a little differently depending on their findings and their experience. It may be necessary to remove the implant and allow things to heal before replacing it, or even considering other options like fat grafting.

You probably should avoid working out until the problem is resolved one way or another.

Jeffrey Hartog, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Incision Opening after Revisionary Surgery

Thank you for the question.

I am sorry to hear about the complications you are experiencing after revisionary breast surgery. Keep in mind that the operation you have undergone is significantly more complicated ( and generally has a longer “recovery time”) compared to first time breast augmentation surgery.  Converting breast implant position and management of the overlying skin and breast tissue can be a challenging operation and generally does involve a several month period  of healing and skin redraping etc.

How serious of a problem the incision opening is will depend on physical examination. I would suggest close follow-up with your plastic surgeon. He/she will be able to answer questions much more precisely.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,464 reviews

Breast incision opening

Thank you for your question and for sharing your experience with us. You will find that every few days the wound will get smaller. Once the wound closes, it will go through a great deal of remodelling and in many cases become very acceptable in appearance. If there is a remaining indentation or widening of the scar that is unacceptable, then I would recommend waiting six months to year before undergoing any minor revision.
I would avoid working out until several weeks after the incision closes or until you get the go ahead from your surgeon.  It is important that you stay in touch with your surgeon throughout this process.

Young R. Cho, MD, PhD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Open Incision After Augmentation

The incision opening is typically only an issue if the implant is exposed.  Otherwise, and more commonly, this represents a suture working its way to the surface.  Your surgeon can easily make the diagnosis with an examination.  Best wishes!

Brian Howard, MD (retired)
Alpharetta Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Go back to your surgeon!

I assume you have shown this to your surgeon.  if not you need to do so right away.  And while you are there ask about such things as when will my implants drop and can I do anything to speed that along like doing massage.

Phillip C. Haeck, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 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.