Breast reduction is done through an incision on certain area of the breast, which is considered as an open wound after the procedure. Thus, it is very important to watch for any signs of infection and delayed wound healing during the healing period. Unfortunately, wound healing problems after breast reduction is not uncommon. Some patients undergoing the surgery experience some types of wound healing problems within weeks after the performed procedure.
Wound healing problems after breast reduction
Without any occurring complications, incision wounds from breast reduction procedure should heal within a month after the performed surgery. However, some wound healing complications are not uncommon. Most of these wound problems are minor and relatively easy to manage and heal if initially discovered and properly treated. Unfortunately, there are some kinds of wound problems from breast reduction, which are quite serious and may need longer period to heal completely, such as:
As an open wound, breast reduction incision might be susceptible to infection. This infection might be resulted from bacterial infestation or improper post-surgery wound care. An infection to the wound site shows similar symptoms to an infection on any other body parts, such as oozing fluid discharge with foul odor, throbbing pain, or bleeding.
This is also a common wound problem that occurs after breast reduction surgery. Mostly, splitting scars are caused by excessive pressure on the wound site. Scars splitting, which is accompanied by non-healing wound site may require in-office debridement done by a professional. However, wearing breathable, good supporting bra after the surgery will help reducing pressure on the wound site and thus, decrease the risk of having a scar splitting problem afterwards.
Some people experience a bleeding episode after breast reduction surgery, which is possible, although unusual. This post-surgery bleeding leads to accumulated blood on the wound site, which needs to be drained. Small amount of hematoma that does not cause any other complications should not be an alert, while the more severe one, causing unbearable pain and interferes the entire healing should be washed out after a discussion with your plastic surgeon.
Necrosis is a post-surgery condition wherein some fats in breast die off, leaving them red and lumpy. This fat necrosis may take some time to settle and restore your breast consistency. However, this may also leave excess skin around the scars that may need to be removed with a surgery if it won’t settle after a few months.
Who are susceptible?
Since wound healing problems after breast reduction is not really uncommon, anyone undergoing the procedure may experience one or more complications afterwards. However, people who are smoking or suffering from other health complications such as diabetes might be more prone to the problems. If you smoke or have diabetes, you might be suffering from poor circulation, while wound healing requires a large amount of nutritious blood supply into the wound site. Hence, delayed wound healing or other wound healing complications may probably occur after a breast reduction surgery.
How to minimize the risks?
There are some proper after care you can obey in order to minimize the risk of having wound healing problems after breast reduction surgery.
Monitor your temperature
It is important to take your temperature regularly when healing from breast reduction. This way, you can anticipate elevating temperature as an early sign of infection. If your surgeon prescribed the antibiotics, take them regularly to avoid infection. These medications are also helpful for reducing the pain caused by the incision healing. Tenderness, stiffness, and soreness around the wound site is normal for some first days of the healing, whilst prolonged sensation of those may require professional opinion.
Take enough rest and sleep sufficiently
With breast reduction, sleeping might be difficult at first, although sufficient rest and sleep have a big impact on the healing. You can support your upper back with 2 or 3 pillows and head to keep the torso elevated. This is not only helpful in providing comfort, but also elevates the wound site above the heart level, which is essential for pain reduction.
Keep doing light activities
Healing from breast reduction does not necessarily mean being unable to do any chores and activities. As long as the activities are not related to weight lifting, they should be done in daily basis. This will improve wound healing, as being inactive may trigger the development of clots and retain fluid. Walking is the advised activity that helps you heal the incision wound.