Does This Gaping Hole Need Stitches? (photo)

I had an arm lift with a three way stitch, and it opened under my arm pit. I've seen my doctor twice, this hole has been open for well over 2 weeks and is draining a green liquid with a slight bad odor. He says let it heal on its own; want to get your thoughts and see if you would choose to restitch.

Doctor Answers 4

Open Wound afterArm Lifting Surgery?

Congratulations on having undergone the arm lifting procedure. I think that your plastic surgeon has given you good advice;  generally speaking local wound care will work better in your situation than attempts at wound closure.

 Continue to exercise patience and continue to follow-up with your plastic surgeon.

Best wishes.

Does This Gaping Hole Need Stitches?

I agree with the plan your chosen surgeon has taken. Allow secondary closure by wound contraction and re-epithialization. 

Does This Gaping Hole Need Stitches?

As a general rule it is better to let an area like this heal on its own without resuturing. Closing the wound at this stage has a high chance of failure, and will just set you back a couple of weeks. This is not uncommon occurrence after arm lifting. Although the adjacent skin edges look not to be inflamed, you might check with your surgeon about getting a culture and using antibiotics. 

All the best. 

Opening in the Axilla After Arm Lift

     This area does open in arm lifts on a somewhat routine basis.  This is usually a small area when it does occur.  At any rate, suturing this area together is not advised.  Local wound care is best.  If there are signs of infection, which will be determined by your surgeon, more intervention may be necessary.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

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.