Am I having a reaction to internal sutures? (Photos)

I had a breast reduction 6 weeks ago. Anchor incision, no surgical tape used. At week 4/5, a small rash developed above my nipple along with extreme itchiness all over my breast, concentrated at the nipples and ends of incisions. My PS feels I'm having an allergic reaction to internal sutures (fungal infection was also discussed). Now the rash has spread significantly. The earliest I can get to see her is in 2 weeks. Should I just continue with hydrocortisone until then or see my family doctor?

Doctor Answers 4

Allergic Reaction Vs Infection

Good afternoon, thank you for your question and pictures. According with the description of symptoms and pictures, this redness could be secondary to an allergic reaction (rarely related to sutures), If you can't see your board certified plastic surgeon, I would recommend you to see a dermatologist for further evaluation and treatment.

Miami Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Allergic or Infectious

Thank you for your question and pictures.  A delayed redness that you describe could be allergic reaction or infection.  I think it is most likely allergic, based on the photos and your (limited) history reported above.  It is not likely to be related to the sutures themselves.  If you cannot see your doctor soon, then yes, I would think talking to your personal doctor would be helpful.  A dermatologist may be able to provide a useful opinion.  If you are having fevers, increasing pain, redness, swelling - you should be seen right away.

Douglas L. Vander Woude, MD
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Allergic Rxn? Fungal Infection?

Thanks for your pictures.  It would be unusual to have a fungal infection and/or an allergic reaction.  Your plastic surgeon should be able to perform test to see if either one of these issues is occurring.  Once the diagnosis is established then the most appropriate treatment would be started. 

Am I having a reaction to internal sutures?

I am sorry to hear about the complication you are experiencing; the photographs do seem consistent with a hypersensitivity or allergic reaction.  I have seen similar reactions when surgical glue was used on incision lines.

 Definitive diagnosis would require in-person evaluation; is consultation with a dermatologist an option for you?

 Best wishes.

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