How Long Until I Am "Out of the Woods" for Wound Separation?

I am 10 days post op. My tape has been removed and things look good so far. My question is how long after surgery does the potential complication of wound separation exist? My PS said I can start using lotions, but I'm rather nervous to touch anything, especially the area around the incisions.

Doctor Answers 9

Wound healing after breast reduction

Congratulations on your surgery!  In general, I place restrictions on my patients for 6 weeks after surgery.  The reason for this is that scars take about that long to gain enough strength to prevent any separation.  After this time, it is very rare to seen any incision line separation.  Good luck!

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Healing is not complete but well underway at 10 days


Thank you for the question.  Many of the complications of any surgery can be seen early on within the first week or two including hematoma, infection, necrosis, etc.  At 10 days out it sounds like you are healing very well and that you do not have any of the above healing issues.  From this point on, barring accidents, you will unlikely see any of the above complications.  Small issues such as sutures extrusion (spitting) may be seen for the first month but these are small issues that often resolve on their own or are taken care of easily in your plastic surgeons office and have little to no long term repercussions.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 165 reviews

Wound healing issues

Usually by the time  patients reach about two to three weeks out from surgery, they are usually out of the woods.

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

When does wound separation occur

Wound separation is generally a consequence, not a cause. So, the initial postop period, of 4-6 weeks, is the time within which a patient is most likely to disrupt a wound or develop an infection. Lotion isn't essential so if you have anxiety about touching the area around the incision (and, if you do, please wash carefully and with soap!!), then don't. Keep up with followup visits and enjoy the result.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Care instructions following a breast reduction

Usually be 2 - 4 weeks you should be fine as far as wound separation after a breast reduction.  Continue to follow your plastic surgeons advice and wound care instructions. 

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews



Usually after 3 weeks you are in the clear. You could apply lotion just not on your incision. Good luck.


Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
3.3 out of 5 stars 9 reviews


I do not recommend any skin lotion, until 8 months after surgery....

Best Dr. Vega / Tijuana, Mexico

Ricardo Vega, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Wound Separation after Breast Reduction?

Congratulations on having undergone the breast reduction procedure; hopefully you'll be very pleased with the outcome of your procedure.

 Generally speaking, once patients are 4 to 6 weeks out of the procedure, incision line separation/wound healing problems are infrequent.

 I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,498 reviews

Breast reduction solidly healed at three weeks.


If you are doing well at ten days, you are probably "out of the woods".  We recommend wearing a sports bra for three week and applying BioCorneum scar ointment twice a day.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 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.