How Common Is The Opening of The Incision After Breast Augmentation?

Q: Dr. Eppley, my fiance recently had a breast augmentation done in early March 2012. After the surgery the doctor came to me and said she had issues closing up her right breast. She said her tissue was very weak and started to rip due to the sutures. After the surgery we kept a close eye on the healing process. This past weekend, five weeks after the surgery we noticed that the ‘scabbing’ had grown a lot. My fiance had me take a look today and it appears that the implant is actually showing. It looks as if the skin has opened up from the sutures and the implant is about to fall out. Is this a normal problem? She saw the doctor today and it appears that the implant must be removed and she has to  wait until it heals up before replacing it again. Have you ever seen this problem before?

A: This is an unfortunate and  rare complication after a primary breast augmentation. It is not one that I have seen before but the sequence of events are such that tissue necrosis occurred from wound tension over the inframammary fold incision site. Why it happened is relevant for the future since you do not want to have a repeat experience after implant replacement. I can only assume that the size of the implant placed too much stress on the incisional closure. If this was a problem, during the first procedure, that effect may be greater the second time. You may have to consider either a smaller implant or go through a process known as tissue expansion prior to implant placement.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana