Leakage after breast lift with no implants!!! How does it look? (photos)

From day one of my surgery my left breast was more swollen. PS said its very normal I am about 4 weeks post op. As I was bathing on Sunday morning I noticed a soft bump (see picture 1) it looked like a blister. Later that day I am in the store and I feel a burst of liquid wetness on my bra I put a napkin and soaked with blood. I contacted my PS and he said its perfectly normal and to let it drain. When will I stop draining? I have been cleaning religously and applying gauze

Doctor Answers 8

Post op leakage

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Don't panic. This kind of thing is fairly common and often looks way worse than it is. If the swelling increases or it becomes read or painful, see your surgeon asap. Otherwise, this should resolve on its own. 
My best,
Dr. Sheila Nazarian
@drsheilanazarian on Instagram

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Leakage after breast lift with no implants!!! How does it look?

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Though postop wound healing issues are very scary to the patient. Frequent in person follow up visits to the surgeon can help you understand the recovery/healing takes time>>>>>>

What is going on?

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Do not panic!  You had a big breast lift performed.  Your issues are rare but do occur occasionally.  Early after surgery you can have more swelling on one side.  In your case you had a large lift.   You can see that the problem area is where the skin incisions meet under the breast.  This area is known for small openings because swelling can cause the the incision to split in this area.  In your case you had some fluid build up and the incision split letting it spill out. That is a good thing that all that stuff came out.  Shower and wash that area frequently (twice a day) and try and push out all that liquid.   The swelling and drainage should go down fast,  over the next few days.  It will take longer for the separation to heal, but it will heal (few weeks).

I would advise seeing your surgeon ASAP to see if he has any other suggestions.   Each surgeon has a different way of dealing with this issue.  Your surgeon knows what was done and can guide you to make you heal faster.

George Orloff, MD, FACS
Burbank Plastic Surgeon

Leakage after breast lift with no implants

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You probably had a hematoma or a seroma  after surgery.  That is the reason for significant swelling and asymmetry.  Because of the pressure your wound is opening and leakage is occurring.  I there is significant swelling and it did not reduce in size with time you will probably need incision and drainage of the breast.  You should go back to your Dr. Again to reevaluate and see if you need drainage.

Harry Marshak, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Leakage after breast lift

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This is all blood, maybe a stitch abscess that needed to drain and it has, that’s good. The drainage will stop in a day or two. Best wishes, thank you.

Stephen W. Gordon, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Breast lift

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I think that you need to review this with your surgeon so that he can prescribe the right wound care and/or treatment for this.

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


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It is possible you had a hematoma developed in your left breast post-op. That could be one of the reasons it was swollen after surgery. Follow up closely with your surgeon to make sure you do not develope an infection.Excess fluid can become infects.

Deborah Sillins, MD
Cincinnati Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Leaking after breast lift

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From the photos and the history, I am concerned that 1, there may be more seroma fluid in the breast that may need to be drained and 2, that this fluid, because it looks cloudy, may represent an infection. If you are my patient, I would ultrasound that breast to see if there's more fluid and remove it as well as culture the fluid that comes out for any bacteria. I would probably start you on antibiotic to make sure that this opening doesn't allow for infection into the pocket surrounding the implant. I would go back to your operating plastic surgeon to discuss. Good luck.

Marc J. Salzman, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 58 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.