How Much Incision Leakage is Normal After a Breast Lift and Augmentation?

I'm 5 days post-op (anchored incision). I'm having a cloudy bloody (not dark or light) leakage from the incision on my left downward incision and underneath the breast. My right breast is leaking from underneath the breast. When I change the bandage it drips down my stomach. The doctor prescribed antibotics just in case of an infection. Absent of a pain, fever, chills, or foul odor from leakgae. It doesn't appear the incision is torn, etc. Should it be leaking? Should I go to the emgerency room?

Doctor Answers 9

Go see your surgeon

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Seroma is fluid build up in the pocket that  the implant is in.  If the fluid builds up quicker than the body can absorb it, the fluid will find a way to drain and this is usually through the incision.  If this happens there is a direct opening to the implant.  I would not swim, shower, bath or wet your breasts until you go and have your sugeon examine your breasts.  You may need open drainage ie insertion of a drain

Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

You should let your surgeon be aware of the drainage

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It is unusual to have drainage post lift and implant unless there is an issue with the healing. Your surgeon has given you antibiotics without any sign of infection. Your surgeon is concerned that that fluid collection may turn it to infection. The only thing you can do is too follow your surgeon's recommendations and keep track of the drainage. Did you have drains post surgery?

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 reviews

Drainage 5 days after breast lift plus implants could mean seroma.

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Your photos do not show evidence of circulation impairment or incision breakdown, and a small amount of clear (or light yellow) drainage is normal serous fluid. Dripping or running from your incision may indicate a larger collection of this fluid beneath the skin flaps. A small amount is fine; more may benefit from drainage.

The same goes for the other side, though bloody drainage may mean a collection of blood beneath the flaps. Again, a small amount goes with normal incisional healing, but more may indicate a small hematoma that might benefit from drainage. Your surgeon will be able to determine this, but only with physical examination of your breasts.

Antibiotics are a good idea, not because either breast IS infected, but because healing is incomplete, and any warm, wet collection COULD become infected, which is why drainage is sometimes a good idea.

Call your surgeon's office for an appointment tomorrow, rather than at your next regularly-scheduled time. Best wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Leakage Needs Evaluation

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A small amount of drainage is not unusual in the day or so following mastopexy, however it is unusual 5 days out. The concern is that you have a fluid collection which is most likely a seroma. This is more common in the absence of drains. Cloudy is also a bit worrisome. Call your doctor for an exam/evaluation.

Brian Klink, MD
Vacaville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Leakage from incisions

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Leakage such as shown in the picture may be a sign of a fluid collection on the right or possibly a hematoma on the left.  You should contact your surgeon as soon as posible.

Beverly Friedlander, MD
Short Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Incisional Breakdown Following Surgery Isn't Unusual

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It’s not unusual for patient’s to have small areas of incisional breakdown following breast lift surgery.This situation is often accompanied by serous drainage from the wound.This fluid is often straw colored and passes through the area of breakdown.In most cases, these wounds heal without difficulty and the drainage stops.

Although there doesn’t appear to be any evidence that this wound is infected, this situation can change rapidly.If fluid can get out, bacteria can get in.For this reason, it’s important to consult your surgeon as soon as possible.Your surgeon may perform an ultrasound study to rule out the presence of a seroma.Since you have a breast implant, he may elect to start prophylactic antibiotics.By taking this approach, more significant complications can be avoided.

Leakage After Breast Augmentation and Lift

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That is a great question. It is normal to have some very minimal spotting of  blood for about a week, however, it is completely abnormal to have any more leakage after that. Leakage of any pus coloring along with pain can be a sign of infection. It is crucial that you contact your surgeon immediately and inform him/her of your issue so that the appropriate treatment can be started immediately. I hope this has helped.

Rady Rahban, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 141 reviews

Breast Augmentation and Leakage?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

At this stage in your recovery (5 days after surgery),  the drainage you demonstrate is somewhat worrisome. Direct evaluation by your plastic surgeon is indicated.  His/her office will be a better setting as opposed to the emergency room.

Best wishes.

Leakage after breast lift and augmentation

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Leakage or drainage of this type and this amount is not normal, and if your surgeon is not aware of it, he or she needs to be made aware of it right away.  You could have a seroma or fluid collection that wants to drain, but the closeup of your left breast looks like the drainage is quite cloudy and possibly infected. I don't know whether your very full tight appearance is due to large implants or a fluid or blood collection in the pocket.  You incisions do not look like they are healing properly.  Although it is not uncommon after a lift to get a small opening, usually where the vertical incision meets the one in your crease, and any open would will drain a little fluid until it heals, this is not what is happening in your case...your surgeon may need to culture this drainage, and maybe take you to the OR for exploration and drainage.  If you are not having a fever or feeling sick, you do not have to go to the ER but you need to contact your surgeon.

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.