Stitch Abscess After Breast Augmentation?

I had Breast augmentation and Mastopexy in 2/2009. I had 1 follow-up visit with surgeon who performed surgery. I had to move for my job, so found another surgeon who removed my stitches. She stated she had received my records from my surgeon.

All was well until 5/25/2009. On my left breast, outer edge of the areola on the incision line, I have had a 1 inch redness with a pustule in the middle. Could this be a stitch abscess?

Doctor Answers 11

Stitch abscess

You very well may have a stitch abscess but without an exam it is difficult to say. I suggest you see your surgeon.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Stitch Abscess Following Breast Augmentation

Your history suggests the presence of a stitch abscess. It's not unusual for absorbable sutures to work their way to the surface of the wound. When this happens, they frequently develop localized infection around the suture. This is known as a stitch abscess and is easily treated with local wound care. This requires removal of the suture and dressing changes. In some cases, antibiotics will be necessary as well.

Under these circumstances, it's important that you consult your plastic surgeon. Your surgeon will develop a treatment plan that addresses your problem.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Stitch abscess

It is important to get proper postoperative care to ensure the optimal result.  I would suggest that you contact the implanting surgeon, and review the case probably with the assistance of the surgeon who did the follow up.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

REaction of suture line after surgery

IT sounds as if you do indeed have an suture infection. YOu may want to review yorur records to determine if these were resorbable or permanent sutures.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Stitch abcess after breast implants looked at to be safe


Thank you for your question!

After reading your description and reviewing the picture you posted, I would agree that it is most likely a stitch coming through. Some surgeons use dissovable stitches that can take a few months to fully dissolve. Sometimes your body can have a reaction to this which is why the abscess occurs. To avoid any further complications and just be sure it is from the stitch, I would schedule a check-up with you plastic surgeon to be safe.

Sam Speron, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review


Most of us use long lasting stitches around the areola when we do mastopexy. Depending on what kind of lift it is I might even use a permanent stitch. Unfortunately, most of these stitches are very slippery and we have to put several knots in them to keep them from unraveling. It is this knot that can "spit" several months down the road. Usually at 3 month out the stitch can be removed and a dose or two will resolve the problem.

Christopher L. Hess, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

That is a stitch abscess most likely

 What you are describing is the occasional process of a stitch "spitting" out as a stitch abscess.  These resolve spontaneously with local care including warm compresses and removal of the stitch thread if it is present.  Check with your doctor though to be sure.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Suture knot problem

It is most likely that you have a suture knot that has become infected and worked its way to the surface.  The suture needs to be removed.  Once removed the area will heal normally.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

May be a stitch abscess after Breast Augmentation


This might be a stitch abscess as it occurred so far out. Have your new surgeon take a look at it. From your image it doesn't look bad, but without examining you I cannot tell for sure.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

This is most likely a stitch abscess

I think you''re probably made the proper diagnosis. Many surgeons use Vicryl suture or other absorbable sutures around the areola. These sutures may take 6 months or more to fully dissolve and often times patients will react to them before this. You should follow up with your plastic surgeon. Usually the small piece of suture can be removed in the office with minimal pain. You may also need a very short course of antibiotics.

David Rankin, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 164 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.