Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Breast Lift Wound Dehiscence

Breast lift wound dehiscence is a complication that can arise after a breast lift surgery. It occurs when the stitches that are used to close the incision in the breast begin to break apart, forming an opening through which the skin and underlying tissues can protrude.

This can be caused by anything from poor technique during surgery to a patient’s own genetics.

Breast lift wound dehiscence can occasionally occur even when everything was done correctly during surgery—in these cases, it usually results from some kind of trauma to the area, such as an accident or fall.

In this article, we will discuss about breast reduction wound dehiscence treatment and how long after breast lift do stitches come out.

Wound Dehiscence Breast Reduction

Wound Dehiscence: When an Incision Reopens

Wound dehiscence occurs when a surgical incision reopens either internally or externally. It’s also known simply as dehiscence.

Although this complication can occur after any surgery, it tends to happen most often following abdominal or cardiothoracic procedures. It’s commonly associated with a surgical site infection.

Dehiscence usually takes place within 3 to 10 days of surgery.

What are the symptoms of wound dehiscence?

Dehiscence can be identified by the feeling of a sudden pulling pain. If you’re concerned about possible dehiscence, check how your wound is healing.

A clean wound will have minimal space between the edges of the wound and will commonly form a straight line. If your stitches, staples, or surgical glue have split apart, or if you see any holes forming in the wound, you’re experiencing dehiscence.

Other symptoms you may experience include:

  • bleeding
  • fever
  • redness
  • swelling

Which complications are associated with wound dehiscence?

It’s important to keep an eye on the healing progress of your wound, as any openings can lead to infection.

In addition, an opening could lead to evisceration, which is a much more severe condition that occurs when your wound reopens and your internal organs come out through the incision.

How do I prevent wound dehiscence?

The best way to prevent dehiscence after your operation is to follow your doctor’s instructions and surgical recovery best practices. Some of these are:

  • Avoid lifting anything greater than 10 pounds, as this may increase pressure on the wound.
  • Be extremely cautious in the first 2 weeks of recovery. You should walk around in order to avoid blood clots or pneumonia, but in most cases you shouldn’t push yourself much more than this.
  • After 2 to 4 weeks, start slightly more rigorous physical activity at your own pace. If you start to feel pressure, consider taking 1 to 2 days of rest and trying again another time.
  • After about 1 month, start pushing yourself a little more, but make sure you’re listening to your body. If something really doesn’t feel right, stop.

Breast Reduction Wound Dehiscence Treatment

The average time for an abdominal incision to fully heal is roughly 1 to 2 months. If you think your wound may be reopening, or if you notice any symptoms of dehiscence, contact your doctor or surgeon immediately.

You may also need to place yourself on bed rest and stop any activity or lifting. These may make the condition worse and may be the cause for reopening.

Existing literature regarding the management of the consequent open wound following wound dehiscence includes healing by secondary intention, local antibiotic preparations, moist dressings, hydrofiber dressings, and the application of topical negative pressure dressings.

How Long After Breast Lift Do Stitches Come Out

Breast augmentation—discharge; Breast implants—discharge; Implants—breast – discharge; Breast lift with augmentation – discharge; Breast reduction – discharge

You had cosmetic breast surgery to change the size or shape of your breasts. You may have had a breast lift, breast reduction, or breast augmentation.

Follow your doctor’s instructions on self-care at home. Use the information below as a reminder.

When You’re in the Hospital

You were probably under general anesthesia (asleep and pain-free). Or you had local anesthesia (awake and pain-free). Your surgery took at least 1 or more hours, depending on the type of procedure you had.

You woke up with a gauze dressing or surgical bra around your breast and chest area. You may also have drainage tubes coming from your incision areas. Some pain and swelling is normal after the anesthesia wears off. You may also feel tired. Rest and gentle activity will help you recover. Your nurse will help you begin to move around.

Depending on the type of surgery you had, you may have gone home the same day or you spent 1 to 2 days in the hospital.

What to Expect at Home

It is normal to have pain, bruising, and swelling of the breast or incisions after you get home. Within a few days or weeks, these symptoms will go away. You may have a loss of sensation in your breast skin and nipples after surgery. The sensation may return over time.

You may need help with your everyday activities for a few days until your pain and swelling decrease.


While you are healing, limit your physical activities so that you do not stretch your incisions. Try taking short walks as soon as possible to promote blood flow and healing. You may be able to do some activity 1 to 2 days after surgery.

Your health care provider may show you special exercises and breast-massaging techniques. Do these at home if your provider has recommended them.

Ask your provider when you can go back to work or start other activities. You may need to wait 7 to 14 days or even longer.

Do not do any heavy lifting, strenuous exercise, or overstretching your arms for 3 to 6 weeks. Exertion can increase blood pressure, and lead to bleeding.

Do not drive for at least 2 weeks. Do not drive if you are taking narcotic pain medicines. You should have full range of motion in your arms before you start driving again. Ease into driving slowly, since turning the wheel and shifting gears may be difficult.

Breast Reduction Wound Dehiscence Treatment

Wound Care

You’ll need to return to your doctor in a few days to have the drainage tubes removed. Any stitches will be removed within 2 weeks after surgery. If your incisions are covered with surgical glue it doesn’t need to be removed and will wear off.

Keep the dressings or adhesive strips on your incisions for as long as your doctor told you to. Make sure you have extra bandages in case you need them. You will need to change them daily.

Keep the incision areas clean, dry, and covered. Check daily for signs of infection (redness, pain, or drainage).

Once you no longer need dressings, wear a soft, wireless, supportive bra night and day for 2 to 4 weeks.

You may shower after 2 days (if your drainage tubes have been removed). Do not take baths, soak in a hot tub, or go swimming until stitches and drains are removed and your doctor says it is OK.

Incision scars may take several months to more than a year to fade. Follow your provider’s instructions on how to care for the scars to help reduce their appearance. Protect your scars with a strong sunblock (SPF 30 or higher) whenever you are out in the sun.

Other Self-care

Make sure you eat healthy foods, including lots of fruits and vegetables. Drink plenty of fluids. A healthy diet and plenty of fluids promote bowel movements and prevent infection.

Your pain should go away over several weeks. Take any pain medicines as your provider told you to. Take them with food and plenty of water. Do not apply ice or heat to your breasts unless your doctor tells you that it is OK.

Do not drink alcohol while you are taking pain medicines.

Do not smoke. Smoking slows healing and increases your risk for complications and infection.

When to Call the Doctor

Call if you have:

  • Increasing pain, redness, swelling, yellow or green drainage, bleeding, or bruising at the incision site
  • Side effects from medicines, such as rash, nausea, vomiting, or headache
  • A fever of 100°F (38°C) or higher
  • Numbness or loss of motion

Also, call your doctor if you notice sudden swelling of your breast.

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