I had a breast reduction by another Orange County doctor three weeks ago. My wound is coming apart and he says don’t worry, so I am worried. What should I do?
Breast reduction surgery is usually a low key event at least when the patient is healthy and her surgery is done by a qualified surgeon. There are cases in which the wound(s) can have a little trouble healing especially at the t junction at the base of each breast. These problems are not universal, but are more common in older patients who smoke or have smoked. Small separations occur in about 8-10% of my breast reduction patients and heal uneventfully. I follow them closely in office visits while this happens to make sure we can optimize the healing.
What do you do about a wound separation?
Make sure your surgeon sees it as early as possible. Small ones do heal. Healing can take a few weeks to a few months and can affect the results of surgery more significantly when they are larger. The key is professional guidance on your particular wound. Unless the wounds are infected, antibiotics are not much help. Sometimes a stitch or some non-healing tissue must be removed. Let your doctor do this.
How do you help prevent wound separation after breast reduction?
(1) If you smoke, stop and let your doctor know about it when you are seen before surgery. Smoking increases your risk, but stopping before (and after) surgery for a while can decrease that increased risk somewhat.
(2) If there is any question, get medical clearance from your primary care doctor before having the breast reduction surgery. Ask about prospective healing.
(3) Get a good qualified surgeon and follow his or her advice.
John Di Saia MD