Does this open wound need to be stitched? (Photo)

Areola reduction 6 weeks ago. The doctor left a polypropylene stitch buried to support the healing. Stitches started to hurt but the doctor had left for vacation. The skin grew over the stitch ends so yesterday he had to cut into the breast to find the end of stitch for removal. The cut was smaller than this I believe. I think what happened is the wound opened a little and now looks bigger than when I left his office yesterday. Should I call him to stitch it up or would steri strips work at home?

Doctor Answers 3

Wound separation and re-stitching

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You are never wrong to call your plastic surgeon. They have all the past and current information available to give you the best advice. We, who have never seen you, have to make assumptions, so we can only give you general guidance. 

In general, small areas of opening along an incision are treated with Bacitracin and a Band-Aid. This keeps the healing cells happy and allows the wound to heal from the inside out, reducing the risk of infection. Normally, it will close in a few days.

On the other hand, if you have pain, bad odor, increasing drainage, redness or fever, call your doctor and be seen promptly. 

Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Does this open wound need to be stitched?

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Thank you for sharing your question and photograph and congratulations on your areolar reduction.  If the stitch was successfully removed it would be best to allow your body time to heal this separation from the inside out as this will minimize the risk of a possible infection.  Talk to your surgeon about the separation as they can provide your with reassurance and wound care advice.  Hope this helps.  

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Do small post-surgical wounds need to be stitched?

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For small wounds like this, it is generally safer to allow it to heal without trying to close it with sutures. The risk of infection is greater when the skin is closed under these conditions. Bacteria can be trapped beneath the repair and proliferate leading to an abscess and infection. There are many options for local wound care. The preferred treatment should be selected in conjunction with your surgeon. 

Wayne I. Yamahata, MD
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 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.