Wound Separation - Advice at This Point?

I had a breast lift in March. At my 2 week appt the medical asst pulled off all the surgical glue. It was still firmly attached in many areas, but she took it off. The next day I had wound separation under both breasts. Left one was very small, right was rather large. I've aggressively treated them for the past 9 weeks and the left closed. The right is still as large as the 1st day and now has an odor. Went back this week and med asst did silver nitrate which opened the wound more.

Doctor Answers 8

Wound Separation

Hello and thank you for your question!  Any incision, during the healing phase, may separate or heal unusually slow for a number of reasons.  These include inflammation, infection, wound tension, decreased circulation, smoking or excess external pressure.  If delayed healing occurs, the final outcome is usually not significantly affected, but secondary revision of the scar may be indicated.  With that said, it is difficult to see what is exactly going on without a photograph.  I would advise you to be seen by your plastic surgeon for an in-person evaluation and be examined.  I hope this helps and best of luck to you!

Maitland Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Wouns separation post op.

Hard to say much without a photo. What you are experiencing 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 ask to be seen by your board certified plastic surgeon and tell him/her your concerns.  Together, you should be able to come up with a plan.

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

Wound separation after breast lift

I am sorry to hear that you have had wound dehiscence after your surgery.  What kind of treatment have you had for the wound?  Are you doing local wound dressing change and how often?  Is there any sign of infection: erythema (redness), pain, draiange, or odor? Is there any retained sututres?   It is unusal for the wound to not decrease in size for the past nine weeks.  I recommend you to see your plastic surgeon to make sure that you do not have infection and to find out what kind of treatment you need to heal it.

Sugene Kim, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Wound Odor

An odor coming from a chronic breast wound requires prompt attention from the surgeon.  This wound is clearly contaminated and needs intervention.  While nonsurgical measures may be successful in getting this wound to heal, surgical treatment is certainly a possibility if not a necessity.  I would be even more concerned if an implant or permanent suture were used in the case.  The good news is that poor scars can always be revised, but this open wound needs prompt attention now.   

Brian M. Braithwaite, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Wound Treatment

Thanks for sharing your story and sorry for the situation you are in.  One question that immediately comes to mind is if the surgeon has seen you after the surgery.  From your description, it seems as if only the med assistant has seen you.  If you have persistent wound separation with no improvement and possible signs of infection, then you may need more aggressive treatment and/or additional surgery.  


Good Luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Wound issues of breasts

A wound separation can happen after tape of glue is removed.  With an odor this is of concern and you should probably have yoru surgeon evaluate you.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Wound separation after breast lift

A wound separation after two weeks is not the usual, and reclosure or taping might have allowed the areas both to heal more quickly. At nine weeks, the situation is simply one of frustration. Your surgeon should have taken charge of the wound weeks ago and we suggest you get in to see him.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Breast Lifting and Wound Healing Problems?

Thank you for the question.

Superficial wound separation after mastopexy can occur; the important thing is that it be treated appropriately.  If your plastic surgeon has not been involved he/she should be. You have described some signs of infection which may need to be treated ( If present).

On the bright side, these superficial separations do tend to eventually heal;  sometimes scar revision surgery is necessary to improve the appearance of the scars long term.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,498 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.