Scars Splitting After Breast Reduction Surgery, What Can I Do to Speed Up Closing/Healing Process?

Had my 5-week update with surgeon. Both my breasts have split along vertical scar that runs from below breast to nipple. Surgeon said 50% of surgeries result in these splits and said to use neosporin and keep them covered with gauze bandage. I'm wondering if there is something that I can use to speed up the closing of the skin along the scar? I have a golfing vacation scheduled in 3 weeks and want to be sure that I can swing a club.

Doctor Answers 9

Late wound separation may be due to nutritional deficiency

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Wound separation can happen late, but the most common causes are late infection and diet.  In my experience, women are frequently dieting, or at least watching what they eat.  Young mothers often go weeks without sitting down for a proper meal, eating their kids' leftovers instead.  While these eating patterns may be fine to sustain an unijured, healthy body, nutritional requirements go way up when healing a surgical wound.  I generally have my patients eat 2 eggs and 2 pieces of citrus fruit for a time after surgery to make sure they are getting enough animal protein and extra vitamin C to heal that surgical site.  I cannot make wound care advice without seeing you, but make sure infection is not a cause of the delayed healing and eat well.

Wound problems after breast reduction

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One of the most common problems encountered after a breast reduction is a minor wound dehiscence or a delay in wound healing.  These wounds infrequently require minor in office debridement, and usually heal within a few weeks with appropriate wound care.  For my patients, I usually prefer to use a topical antibiotic ointment such as neosporin and non-adherent pads.  These dressings are changed at least once a day, usually after the patient bathes.  Another option is to use a hydrofiber such as Aquacel which can be changed every other or every third day.  Any specific questions that you have about the state of your wounds and your planned activities should be discussed with your plastic surgeon.

Kelly Gallego, MD, FACS
Yuba City Plastic Surgeon

Scars splitting after surgery

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Wearing a good support bra will also help healing as there will be less tension on the wounds during the healing process.

Leonard T. Yu, MD
Maui Plastic Surgeon

Incision splitting 5 weeks after breast reduction

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Thank you for your question and for sharing your experience with us. You will find that every few days the wound will get smaller. Once the wound closes, it will go through a great deal of remodelling and in many cases become very acceptable in appearance. If there is a remaining indentation or widening of the scar that is unacceptable, then I would recommend waiting six months to year before undergoing any minor revision. It is important that you stay in touch with your surgeon throughout this process.  I would also discuss your golf outing and possible activity restrictions.

Wound separation

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Wound separation at the "T" or a portion of the vertical closure is not uncommon with breast surgery. This quite often heals with conservative wound care, but should be followed closely.

Scars Splitting After Breast Reduction Surgery, What Can I Do to Speed Up Closing/Healing Process?

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Consider LED light therapy, oxygen therapy, and good wound care. You might need to consider a vacation change of plans. Sorry. 

Wound healing issues after breast reduction are uncommon

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'Splitting scars' after breast reduction is an uncommon problem - 50% rate is very high. It sounds like you've developed wound healing delay along both vertical scars. This problem generally heals without surgical intervention. Some patients need a scar revision procedure to deal with widened scars in this situation. Keep the wounds clean and moist and follow up closely with your surgeon.

Split wounds after breast reduction

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Unfortunately you haven't shown a photo but a 50 percent rate of wound separation would be excessive. You can use dressings but I would suggest that achieving wound closure should take precedence over swinging a golf club. Enjoy your vacation and, if your wounds aren't closed by then or you have other concerns, please ask your plastic surgeon to provide you with a list of board certified plastic surgeons in your vacation area.

Breast reduction and wound healing problems

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Thank you for the question and congratulations on having heavy breast reduction procedure;  hopefully (eventually)  you will be very pleased with the results of the surgery.

Based on your description, local wound  care under the direction of your plastic surgeon is indicated. I would suggest to use of “nonstick” dressings ( run this by your plastic surgeon)  covered by sterile dressings. If the rooms are clean and can be re-approximated without tension,  closure may be an option to expedite the process.

Hopefully, you will find that your golf game is improved after the breast reduction surgery!

Best wishes.

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.