Wound Keeps Reopening 5 Months After Mastopexy

I wonder if you could help me. After a mastopexy end of March this year my right breast developed an open wound around the nipple. It took 2 months to heal with different kind of dressings. Unfortunately there is still a small area left open. It keeps healing with a Mepore dressing but as soon as I leave the healed wound open or go swimming it keeps reopening. How long will I have to keep the Mepore dressing on and avoid swimming?

Doctor Answers 7

Wound re-opening 5 months after mastopexy

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Thank you for your question.  You are most likely experiencing a problem with a granuloma due to a long dissolving or permanent suture placed around the nipple areolar complex to retain the desirable diameter and prevent expansion of the areola.  You should address this problem with your plastic surgeon.  It is not uncommon to hear or see problems with absorbable sutures, since they have become very popular in recent years.  All the best!

Sydney Plastic Surgeon

Recurrent Wound after Breast Lifting?

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I'm sorry to hear about the complication you are experiencing this far out of breast lift surgery. As you have heard, the recurrent opening may be related to a stubborn stitch. I would also suggest that cultures be taken;  these should probably also include unusual organisms such as Mycobacterium ( with your history).

 Best wishes.

Mastopexy incision keeps opening

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Without an exam I could not be sure, but sometimes a foreign body like a permanent stitch can cause this. Best to ask your doctor.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews


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Without an exam it’s very hard to tell you what can be happening. You should check with your PS to see what he believes is going on. Posting a picture can probably help us help you.


Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Persistent wounds after mastopexy

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The most common cause for a wound to open after mastopexy is suture material and suture spitting. If the sutures are dissolving, then the problem will go as soon as the suture material is gone, however a permanent suture will have to removed for the wound to quiet down.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Wound Keeps Reopening

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Almost certainly the cause here is an undissolved suture which your surgeon should be able to locate quite easily and save for some local anesthesia, quite painlessly. Until that suture dissolves or is removed, the cycle you are experiencing will probably continue.

Once the foreign material is gone, this should heal once and for all in a few days.

Thanks for the question, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Non Healing Wound Around Nipple

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Thank you for your question.  Small stitch absesses in suture lines in breast lifts, tummy tucks, etc. are not uncommon.  If they keep recurring, this is usually a sign that there is a deep suture which has bacteria around it., and they do not allow the superficial wound to heal. 

If you were my patient, I would numb the area, go in with a hemastat, find the suture, remove it, and then pack the wound with Iodoform gauze, letting it heal from the inside.  Unfortunately, putting dressings on the surface will never get to the root of the problem. 

The treatment listed above is a minor procedure that can be done easily in the office with minimal to no pain.  Please go back and see your plastic surgeon, and see what he or she thinks of the above suggestion. 

Obvioiusly swimming is out until this wound is healed.  Unfortunately bacteria in the water keep getting into this little stitch absess.  Fortunately, nothing bad has happened but I would stay away from swimming until I had a completely healed wound.

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.