Stitch splitting, but Doctor retired right after Breast Augmentation. Any advice? (photos)

I had a Ba done about 3 months ago and wasn't aware my plastic surgeon was retiring or else I would've gone elsewhere. I will not get my 6 month check up now, and I think I'm spitting a stitch but can't afford to see another surgeon and pay more. My scar is a little sensitive to the touch where I have the prickly white bump but the other incision scar feels fine. Any advice? Thanks in advance!

Doctor Answers 9

3 Months Post Op

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I would expect that your Plastic Surgeon would have someone covering his patients so that necessary follow ups can be done. I recommend that you contact them and inquire about alternate arrangements so that you can be seen in person.
All the best

Check who took over the practice

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Most surgeons will cede or otherwise make arrangements for their patients for after the retirement.  Check into that.

Spitting suture

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Typically the retiring surgeon will have someone assist with looking after his patients after they retire. Either way, if you see a PS for a consultation regarding this they will likely handle this likely minor problem for you.

Spitting stitch

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Congrats on having the surgery.  Sorry you're experiencing issues.
Once a surgeon retires, they usually assign another to follow up with their patients.  Try to see if this is what your surgeon did.  If not, you may use a tweezer and small scissors to retract and cut the sutures as they appear.  If you have difficulty with this, you may try vaseline or Bacitracin with a bandaid.  This keeps the suture moist which causes it to dissolve more readily.If all else fails, see you private physician.  They can also cut out sutures.  If that does not work and you find yourself is NYC, I'll remove them free of charge and give you scar instructions.
Best of luck.
Dr. T

Spitting stitch after BA

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Thanks for reaching out.  If you can feel the stitch it likely needs to be trimmed.  The problem with leaving it alone is that it may cause an infection.   A superficial infection can get worse and become deeper, putting your implant at risk.  This is an extreme scenario but not worth the risk.  Definitely go see a plastic surgeon to be evaluated.  Most surgeons who retire leave their practice to someone else.  I would try to find out who your surgeon has left in charge of his patients.
I hope this helps ;)

Stitch issue?

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If you feel the stitch then it might need to be trimmed. This can happen and is usually easily treated. Best to see a plastic surgeon in your area.

Suture granuloma and incision concerns

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Hi and thanks for posting your question and the photos,I am sorry to hear that you are in a situation where you are not being followed by a board-certified plastic surgeon. However, everything currently looks ok and I am thankful I don't see any implant peaking out!  It appears that the scar has widened a little.  Have you been given scar care instructions? I tell my patients to perform scar massage with a skin ceutical scar cream twice a day. It can happen that the suture knot come through the surface of the skin.  If this happens, the knot is trimmed so that the skin can heal over and it doesn't become a wound that can get infected.I would recommend having a local board-certified plastic surgeon look at your scars and help you with your exposed suture. You may save yourself lots of trouble in the future!Hope this helps.

Robin Evans, MD, FRCSC
British Columbia Plastic Surgeon

Surgeon retired

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When most surgeons retire, they will often have a colleague take over seeing their prior patients,  If your surgeon was part of a larger practice, you may contact that facility to see if someone new has been appointed to your care.  If no one is available, I encourage you to research board certified plastic surgeons in your area to arrange a visit.  Follow up care is important, and though this situation is frustrating, you must do what is best for your health.

Problems with your scar at 3 months post-op should be evaluated by a surgeon

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I'm sorry to hear that you are having such an issue with your scar; fortunately things like this usually turn out to be very minor.  I'm also sorry that your surgeon retired without notice.  I can imagine how frustrating that must feel.  Most surgeons, when retiring, moving, or leaving practice for health or other reasons, will arrange coverage or a new surgeon to whom their patients are to be referred.  Some even sell their practices to another surgeon, who then assumes the care of their patients.  Assuming that you have already tried to check with your surgeon's office, staff, and hospital and have not been able to identify any covering surgeon, I think you should find another surgeon to at least have a look at your scar.  Based upon the images here, there does not appear to be anything obviously serious that I can see, but this is without benefit of a physical exam or any details about your surgery, including what type of sutures were used, how many layers, where they were, and other things that are important for a surgeon to know.  I'm hoping that most surgeons would not gouge you and make you pay very much just to have something like this evaluated; I certainly don't do that if a patient comes to me with a problem like this.  Regardless, though, I think it's important enough for you to not take any unnecessary risks with your breast implants at this point, and I would hate to see you forego proper medical care because of the concern about costs.  It would be especially tragic if something were to progress to a serious infection that resulted in the loss of your implant.  While it is rare for sure, I have seen things like that happen when either a surgeon or a patient ignored exposed foreign body, like a spitting suture.  In the event that there really is something there that a doctor needs to address, you will be so glad you had it checked out, and if there isn't anything to worry about, you will at least know that too and have peace of mind.  Either way, I think you should find a board certified surgeon with experience in breast surgery to evaluate your scar.  Best of luck.

Joseph L. Grzeskiewicz, MD
San Diego Plastic 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.