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Watch Out for Wound Opening After Surgery

After a plastic surgery, all incisions made are sutured and are required to be given time to heal. In rare instances, the wound can open up. When this happens, it is important to let your surgeon know immediately and get some help or advice on how to resolve it. An open wound must be kept sterile to prevent any infection from developing.

Now, there are several reasons why the wound can open up. It is important to identify the right reason, so that it can be remedied appropriately and properly. So among the potential reasons are the ones listed below:

  • Too Much Tension on the Wound: Although the skin is able to stretch, there is also such a thing as too much tension on the site of the wound. Because of this, your sutures may open up as it experiences a tight pull on opposite sides of the wound site. This can happen in cases such as when the implant used in a breast augmentation surgery is too big. For this reason, it is important to make sure that the suture site would be tension free so that proper healing can occur.
  • Infection in the Wound Site: In cases of infection, the wound will open up and will not heal properly. You may also find a whitish fluid or pus in the open wound. Although it takes time, the wound may eventually heal and close around the infection, which is why it is important to get rid of the infection first. This is usually dealt with by taking your surgeon’s prescribed antibiotics.
  • Presence of Pus, Blood Clot or Fluid: Aside from tension, it is possible that there is something inside the wound site that prevents it from healing. There may be pus, blood clot or fluid that has formed or accumulated inside the wound, which forces the sutures to open up. When this happens, it may be necessary to drain the fluid or remove the clot. For some plastic surgeries where fluid accumulation is expected, there are drainage tubes are placed around the operating table.
  • Sutures Over Inflamed Skin: This is likely to happen with re-sutured wounds since it is unlikely for a patient to have inflamed skin before the surgery. Regardless, if sutures are done on inflamed skin, the wound could open up again. This is also the reason why many surgeons won’t re-stitch an open wound.

As for the treatment, this varies on a case-by-case basis. There are surgeons that will re-stitch the suture for you, whereas others opt to let the open wound heal on its own. For the latter, surgeons choose this option to prevent bacteria from being trapped inside the wound and causing an infection inside the body.

So to prevent these complications, you should follow the instructions to the letter to ensure the healing process goes well. Take enough rest and eat healthy meals to help your body heal faster. Although you shouldn’t do any weight lifting or other extraneous activities, you should still make sure that you are active enough to maintain blood flow and to prevent complications. Note, do only light activities to keep your body active without straining the wound.

What you need to know if your wound opens is that it will eventually heal, but there may be a larger scar than what was expected if the wound site remained intact. With that said, it is highly recommended that even if the scar may be bigger, it is still best to just let it heal, and then just do a scar revision surgery afterwards. Be patient and focus on the fact that your health is still the most important aspect of the healing process, even if it takes a while.

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