I Have a Stitch Left from my Implants a Year Ago.

I got silicone implants a year ago. It wasn't made in this country. I notice 3 stitches(two in one breast an one inthe other). My regular doctor took two out but the other one is stuck and it is difficult to remove. He send me two a esthetic doctor and he said they will need to make a cut to remove it. Is there a risk if I just leave the stitch there? What is the worse that could happened? And, Is this process expensive? I live in Omaha, ne. Thanks

Doctor Answers 10

Retained Suture after Breast Augmentation

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While plastic surgeons in this country generally use sutures that dissolve over time, sometimes people have sutures that need to be removed. If they are not removed they can be stuck in the skin. This may cause some irritation and occassionally a small infection called a suture abscess.  I think all retained sutures should be removed unless getting them out will cause significant risk. Yours appear to be superficial and easiliy accessible.  I am not sure what the cost is at your particular doctor, but it should not be that much (few hundred to $1000).  On a side note, if this surgery was done by a plastic surgeon in your area, I have not doubt that your surgeon would have been able to detect these sutures before they became "embedded" and would have removed them free of charge. 

Stitch from implants a year ago

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First of all you went through real surgery with real risks. You are going through an active healing process that will take months to complete.  In a breast augmentation, most usually close the tissue in layers to keep the tissue together and to take tension off the wound. Deep layers are usually absorbable and the skin sutures non absorbable that have to be taken out. Sometimes sutures from the inside will spit out through the wound. If this is the case, you may have a little opening. This is usually OK, and will heal, but should be seen by a plastic surgeon. If the suture remains the skin may go through cycles of redness and healing.  Usually best to get it out.  It is a usually straightforward procedure.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Removing stitch

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Leaving the stitch there can increase your risk of infection. It is safer to have it removed, although if you aren't experiencing any negative symptoms with it being there, then it may be okay to leave it.  

Breast Enhancement Surgery

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The stitch wont hurt you but can serve as a source of infection and it should be removed which is not difficult and your doc should be able to do it

Why do you want to remove it?

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If the stich is not causing a problem, I would not remove it.  If it is causing you problems (pain, redness or that you can feel it when touching your breasts) then by all means do remove it.  However, if it is just a visual issue, meaning that you can see the sitch or just that you know there is a stich then you can leave it in forever as it is embeded in your skin. 

Only remove it if it causes a problem.

Andre Aboolian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Exposed sutures after breast surgery

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When performing a breast augmentation, most plastic surgeons prefer to use clear absorbable or dissolvable sutures for the wound closure.  On occasion some of these sutures can become exposed either because the wound breaks down, or knots are left too close the the skin surface.  Any portion of an exposed suture should be removed because of the risk of infection.  Additionally, most open wounds will not spontaneously close over a foreign object such as a suture.  Sometimes a knot might be palpable beneath the skin, but not actually exposed.  These sutures typically can be left alone unless they become infected or exposed.  Removal of an exposed suture is a straightforward procedure which is performed in the office usually without anesthesia.

Kelly Gallego, MD, FACS
Yuba City Plastic Surgeon

Stitch remaining 1 year after surgery

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A suture that is present long after surgery and appears to be embedded should probably be removed because it can lead to a stitch abscess. The removal is very simple and takes onlya few minutes. You should not have to worry about the procedure which is very minor.

Retained suture

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If the suture is not causing any symptoms then it is probably fine to leave it alone.  I fit becomes painful or begins to extrude then you should have it removed.  Over time it may works its way to the surface and removal will be easier. 

Todd B. Koch, MD
Buffalo Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Remove the stitch

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Thank you for the question.  It would be best to have the stitch removed by a dotor to prevent possible infection in the future.  Best of luck. Dr. Michael Omidi.

An in-person exam with a board-certified plastic surgeon is the best way to assess your needs and provide true medical advice.

Michael M. Omidi, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

Not Uncommon- See your surgeon.

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It’s not unusual for 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.
It’s important to consult a board certified plastic surgeon.This surgeon should be able to help you with the problem.

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.