How Can I Prevent Incision Separation or "Holes" Following Surgery?

I don't remember the name of the technique being used but my size now is 38DD. Surgery date is 9/18/13. Incision separation is the scariest part of this process for me.

Doctor Answers 7

How Can I Prevent Incision Separation or "Holes" Following Surgery?

There is no guarantee, but no smoking and a healthy diet before, during and after surgery is extremely helpful. I offer my patients a single source nutritional supplement that has all 20 amino acids, 46 antioxidants, 36 antiinflammatories and many vitamins and minerals to take in the perioperative time to help with healing. 

Let your surgeon know your concerns ahead of time and he/she may be able to calm your fears. Good luck.


Fort Wayne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Avoiding healing problems with a breast reduction

There are several variables that can effect healing some are controllable and others are not.  You should avoid smoking and secondary smoke as well as the use of any nicotine patches.  Obesity is also a risk factor for poor wound healing.  There are also surgical technical variations that can reduce risk including avoiding excessive tension and hematomas which will place excess tension on the suture line and  can reduce the blood supply to the skin flaps.   

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Wound issues

Some patients are definitely predisposed to healing issues. This includes obese patients, diabetics, and patients with poor nutrition.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Tips for avoiding wound breakdown.

Hi Kimski.  Wound healing problems usually look worse than they really are, so I would not fret about this problem too much.  All techniques for breast reduction carry this risk.  My best advice about avoiding complications is to follow your surgeon's instructions about activity, avoid smoking, and maintaining a healthy diet. You should not be trying to lose weight before surgery, since this can reduce your ability to heal.  If you don't already take a multivitamin, this may be a good time to try one, as long as you don't take massive amounts. 

Lewis Ladocsi, MD, FACS
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Complications after breast reduction

There is no sure fire way to prevent incision separation.   I am assuming you don't smoke or use any nicotine products; if you do, you should be off them for 3-4 weeks prior to surgery and another 3 weeks after. The surgical technique will cause some difference with this.  With an inferior pedicle, the skin is stretched across the pedicle and has a higher incidence of separation. I prefer a superio-medial pedicle partly for this reason. But even so, this is my most common complication.  About 10% of my patients have a minor wound separation after a breast reduction.

That said, this is not a big deal if it does happen; it is a minor annoyance, but does not cause any long term issues. The risk is higher with larger breasts, and a 38DD is a relatively smaller breast for reduction. Good luck and don't worry about this too much. 

Gordon Lewis, MD
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Incisions popping open

This rarely happens and your doctor can put soem steri strips on youe incisions which will add soem extra strength.Ask him to do this.I am sure he will be happy to.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Incision care after breast reduction will be dictated by the plastic surgeon.

The patient certainly participates in the wound healing after an operation. What you can avoid and what you should do to increase the likelihood of good wound healing will be discussed with you by your plastic surgeon.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 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.