Breast reduction: does this look infected? (photos)

I had a breast reduction 4 weeks ago. This breast was very swollen so my surgeon performed a second surgery to drain the old blood. I am 1 week post op from the second surgery. The right breast has super thin, clean scars but the left breast incision sites look really bad, thick and the spotting is bright red. The surgeon prescribed me silver sulfadiazine cream to apply to help with healing. Should I be worried?

Doctor Answers 6

Infection after breast reduction

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While it is not possible to make a definitive diagnosis based on photographs alone, it does not appear that you have an obvious infection. Rather the appearance is consistent with a wound healing problem and probably associated with an ischemic injury, i.e. a blood supply/circulation problem. Although you may not currently have an infection, the open wound does put you at risk for developing one. It is therefore imperative that you remain in close contact with your surgeon. 

Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

It looks scary

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but it doesn't look infected.  If you have spreading redness or increases in pain and drainage, an infection could be happening then.  You should be followed regularly by your surgeon and you may need debriding of necrotic tissue to facilitate healing.  If you wound progresses despite what you are doing, other causes must be entertained such as reaction to sutures (if different ones were used) or pyogenic granuloma.  Otherwise you should see progressive improvement and you will eventually heal.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Breast reduction: does this look infected?

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Thank you for your pictures and questions. While the wound can appear scary, it does not appear infected. Rather, it appears that you had some blood flow issues to the skin along the incision and there was some death of the skin and opening of the incision. This can sometimes happen with breast reduction surgery. It can usually be managed with local wound care and will go on to heal and leave a widened scar. Follow the instructions of your plastic surgeon and see them for frequent follow up to make sure everything is going according to plan. Best of luck!

Infection after breast reduction

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You have a healing problem but it does not look infected at this point but you will need wound care to get this to heal but it will take several weeks.  The cream is to help keep the wound clean and not get infected and works well.  Once the wound is healed and the scar has settled down, a scar revision could be done if needed.  I would follow you doctors instructions and follow up the him weekly.

John D. Smoot, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews


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It appears that your wound is not healing well and the edges separated.  The cream your surgeon prescribed should help to prevent an infection while it heals. This may take several weeks and will leave a wide scar, which will likely need a scar revision.

You should go and see your plastic surgeon ASAP!

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Good afternoon and thank you for your question and pictures, I really suggest that you come back and see your surgeon as soon as possible, there is a dehiscence of the wound that can be corrected with surgical or non surgical methods but you can still have a good results if the wound is treated properly by your surgeon.Once again, YOU MUST see your board certified plastic surgeon right away in order to avoid more serious complications.

Rafael Gottenger, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 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.