Mastectomy Scars Changed After Tissue Expander Surgery?

Two weeks ago I had tissue expander surgery 2 years after a bilateral mastectomy. My original scars had faded nicely but now they are red and a bit lumpy (in the area that was not cut for the recent surgery). I have 100 ccs of saline. There's no other redness in my skin, nor any swelling. Why would this happen and is it permanent ?

Doctor Answers 3

Scars after tissue expander surgery

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When some incisions heal, they may heal with red scar that improves in color over time. The bumpiness is most likely due to sutures placed under the skin.  These sutures are dissolvable and will disappear over time.

Appearance of scars post-breast reconstruction

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Your description sounds like a typical appearance after a surgical procedure.  Since your mastectomy incisions were used for access to perform your reconstruction, they will have an appearance after your surgery as that which you describe.  It is common to have the redness from the recent surgical procedure itself as well as the feeling of "lumps" from sutures, scarring, swelling, as well as rearrangement of the soft tissue beneath the skin.   However, an evaluation by your surgeon to ensure that there is no infection or issues with your reconstruction is warranted, especially if the redness itself worsens.

 Incisions on breasts typically heal very well, and I would expect you to have similar appearance as they heal; final appearance can take up to a year after your procedure.  Some things that can improve your final appearance are scar massage, silicone sheets, ScarGuard, Mederma, etc.  But, first ask your surgeon if this may be right for you as well as when you could commence such measures.  Hope that this helps!  Good luck!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Tissue expanders

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In order to place the expanders, the old incisions are opened. They will stay red probably for as long as they were red before.

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

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