How Many Things Can Go Wrong on a Mommy Makeover Before It is Not Coincidence? (photo)

I had a mommy makeover on 2.16.12. My right nipple died. My left breast has an open wound the size of a palm. And I have a seroma on my belly - that produces 70 cc's a week. I do not smoke. I do not drink. I have no liver or heart problems and I eat really good. (protein shakes - organic fruits and veggies- example) I run. I feel like I have had to teach myself how to care for these wounds - Thank the Lord for the internet. Is it me? What can I do to heal? Dr not giving directions!

Doctor Answers 7

When Complications Develop, The Doctor Has To Double Down

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I am so sorry you have these multiple complications after your Mommy Makeover.   The good news is the basic shape of your breast lift is excellent, your abdomen looks good with a well positioned, not overly large belly button, with a low abdominal scar being appropriately treated with paper tape. 

I am even more sorry to hear that your doctor is not giving you directions on how to deal with the necrosis on your right breast and the open wound on your left.  The seroma on your abdomen might well be treated with a drain and probably a sclerosing agent if there is a weekly recurrence of a 70cc seroma.  Your next step is to ask your plastic surgeon how you should progress, possibly recommend a drain on your abdomen, and see what he or she says.

If you are uncomfortable with the heart to heart discussion you have with your plastic surgeon, then seek a second opinion with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.  Certainly, Atlanta has so many great plastic surgeons, you will have no trouble finding a good one for a second opinion.

All that being said, one other suggestion I might have is consider hyperbaric oxygen.  It often heals very difficult wounds.

Complications after Mommy Makeover Surgery?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for the question and pictures.

I'm sorry to hear about the complications you have experience. Although I can understand your frustration, each one of the complications you have experienced is a known complication that can occur after extensive surgery you have had performed.

The important thing at this point, is that your plastic surgeon see and treat you frequently. If you do not feel that this is the case, I would suggest that you communicate with him/her.  explain that you would like additional teaching regarding wound care and/or any other concerns you have. I would suggest that you communicate in a calm/nonaccusatory fashion.

Most plastic surgeons work hard to produce end results that make their patients happy;  I'm sure your complications are causing significant stress for your surgeon as well for yourself.  I'm sure that he/she will “bend over backwards” to help you through this stressful time.

I am especially concerned about the left breast wound;  since there is probably an underlying implant present,  it will be critical to avoid involvement/contamination of the implant.  Keeping the area clean/covered with sterile dressings is a must.

Best wishes.

Mommy Make over complications

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The wound left by the loss of nipple areola needs significant amount of care. You need to be seen by your plastic surgeon at least once a weeks if not twice a week. The wound need significant care, frequent debridement, and may be ideally a wound vac.

It will heal, but will take time. After that a nipple areola reconstruction.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

You might also like...

How Many Things Can Go Wrong on a Mommy Makeover Before It is Not Coincidence?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
These type of complications can happen to even the most experienced plastic surgeon. Breast lifts with implants can be one of the most challenging operations we perform. When these sorts of complications occur, your plastic surgeon should be able to provide you with proper wound care instructions. I would conservatively manage the wound with daily dressing changes until closed. Then a formal nipple reconstruction can be performed three months later.
Seromas are also the most common complications of tummy tucks. If a seroma becomes chronic (greater than two months) I will take patients back to the operating room to clean out the seroma cavity. Good luck.

You will get better, stay positive.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
It's unfortunate you've had to deal with these complications.  As you know seromas are the most common "complication" of tummy tuck surgery.  However that is more of a nuisance than a true complication. Weekly or even bi-weekly drainage will easily remedy the problem.  You really need to minimize your activity level in order to minimize seroma formation.  However areolar loss is more of a concern and will take longer to heal (probably at least 6 weeks) I assume you are seeing your surgeon weekly.  Ask your surgeon about specific instructions for wound care.  

Mommy Makeover Complications - What Now??

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Complications can occur by the best Plastic Surgeons. However, you certainly have a large number of alarming and serious complications. When there are problems, the appropriate action by your surgeon is to become more involved, not less. He should be there to explain what happened, set a course of action to resolve your complications and reassure you that despite this your are in good hands that will be with you through out this tough period of time in your life and that there is a plan to correct any  persisting problems.

If this is not happening, or if you have lost confidence in your plastic surgeon (i.e. no longer an optimal patient-physician relationship) then you might want to seek the advice, consultation and possibly change plastic surgeons. This is the screening criteria I would start with:

• Verify Board Certification by American Board of Plastic Surgery (do this online)
• Member of American Society of Plastic Surgery (requirements beyond Board Certification)
• Member of American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (indicates extensive experience in aesthetic surgery - see below link)



Complications after mommy makeover demand intense involvement of the plastic surgeon.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Regrettably, you have had more than your share of complications after the breast and abdominal surgery.  Complications occur at the hands of any plastic surgeon.  In my practice, complications trigger vigorous involvement with the patient to supervise convalescence and reassurance that, although the post surgical course is now difficult, the outcome will be good.

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.