Afraid of Splitting Incisions After Breast Lift

How much time needs to pass to be sure I wont split my incisions after my Breast Lift? I have an anchor-shaped incision. At 8 days post op, the doctor removed the steri strips because I had an allergic reaction and just reinforced it with dermibond. I have seen some terrible pictures on the Internet and am worried about returning to normal activities (like picking up a 25 lbs 2-year-old).

Doctor Answers 16

Wait 6 Weeks Before Strenuous Activity Following Breast Lift Surgery

The recovery time following breast lift varies from patient to patient and depends on a variety of factors. I recommend minimal activity for about two weeks following this procedure. After two weeks, patients can slowly resume most activities except those that involve strenuous exertion. After six weeks, patients should be able to resume all of their normal activites, including strenuous exertion and heavy lifting.

 

         This approach should minimize the potential for wound separation following breast lift surgery.

How Long do Incision Lines Need?

I recommend waiting 6 weeks before testing the strength of your incision lines.

In the meantime:

  • don't lift more than ~25 pounds
  • no high impact activities like jumping or jogging
  • no big arm swinging activities like tennis or golf

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Healing after a breast lift

The skin technically is sealed (but not fully healed, of course) after 24-48 hours.  Scar maturation is what gives the wound its eventual strength, though.  It takes about 6 months for a wound to have its maximum strength, which is roughly 70% of its preoperative strength.  But you don't have to wait 6 months to do your normal activities.  Generally, my mastopexy patients return to light exercise after a couple of weeks and strenuous exercise after about 6 weeks. 

Carmen Kavali, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Activity after breast surgery

My post-op regimen for patients after breast surgery usually entails not aerobic type acitivities for 2-3 weeks and then no heavy lifting for at least 6 weeks.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

You are still healing

The wound is entering the weakest phase of healing presently.  Lifting a baby shouldn't affect the sutures.  Bouncing, etc. will put stress on things, and may cause a problem.  I would check with your doctor for sure on this, as we wouldn't want to go against his instructions.

sek

Spitting sutures fear.

Separation of the incision is not uncommon with breast lifts and reductions. The area is on tension, and that may effect wound healing. There may also be a spitting suture or some other issue.  Please continue to be seen by your board certified plastic surgeon, and tell him/her your concerns. Together, you will be able to come up with a plan.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Sutures spitting

The spitting of sutures happens.  If you avoid vigorous activities where your clothing would rub against your incisions could help as a preventative method.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Splitting Incisions After Breast Lift

To be on the safe side, try avoiding arm movement above your shoulder for 6 weeks. This should be an adequate duration of time to heal.

Ivan Thomas, MD (retired)
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Removing sutures with mastopexy

Rely on your surgeon's instincts about the scars.  I think you should be fine at this point.  Sutures should be removed relatively early to avoid secondary complications.  

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Incision Separation After Anchor Breast Lift

Regarding: "Afraid of Splitting Incisions After Breast Lift
How much time needs to pass to be sure I wont split my incisions after my Breast Lift? I have an anchor-shaped incision
. At 8 days post op, the doctor removed the steri strips because I had an allergic reaction and just reinforced it with dermibond. I have seen some terrible pictures on the Internet and am worried about returning to normal activities (like picking up a 25 lbs 2-year-old
)."

Separation of the anchor incision is not rare with an Anchor (inverted T) Breast Lift but is usually related to: tension or decreased blood supply (smokers (primary or second hand). If separation occurs it does so in the first 3 weeks or so after surgery. For  this reason surgeons recommend you wear support (bra) for a long time and not engage in any activity which may increase your blood pressure (and cause swelling of operated tissues) for a month.

The Dermabond will NOT take the place of stitches but will nicely reinforce the inside stitch closure. It is more efficient than steri-strips but much more expensive.

Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 100 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.