Delayed wound healing after breast augmentation

Delayed wound healing after breast augmentation

02nd Feb 2019



The aesthetics of the breasts have become an important concern for women all over the globe coming from different social and economic backgrounds. Up until a few years ago, we would hear about celebrities getting breast augmentations. Nowadays, stay-at-home moms, school teachers, and sales professionals can get bigger, rounder, perkier breasts as most plastic surgeons offer different payment options.

Breast augmentation safely and efficiently solves one of the most burning desires of women: having breasts that are well-contoured, firm, and harmonious with their anatomy.

Having small breasts can cause an emotional turmoil for a woman who might feel less feminine or appealing because of this. The procedure can ensure you have the breasts of your dreams without too much effort and after a short recovery period.

In this article, we will discuss the details of breast augmentation and complications that can occur, namely delayed wound healing.

Breast augmentation procedure

Breast augmentation surgery can be performed with implants or with fat transfer. Considering the fact that the augmentation is not significant in the case of fat grafting, most women who want a considerable increase in the size of the breasts prefer implants.

Breast implant surgery is performed with good quality implants. The results are visible immediately after the surgery and it often has a strong positive impact on the patient.

The first step in getting breast implants is scheduling a consultation with the plastic surgeon. We can’t emphasize enough on the importance of choosing an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon to play out your breast augmentation. The procedure is delicate and affects the whole body of the patient, so you should only go forward with it after finding the right plastic surgeon.

The consultation with the plastic surgeon will take place before the procedure and is an essential step in getting satisfactory results and avoiding severe complications.

During this initial meeting with the surgeon, you will undergo a medical examination that will result in the surgeon recommending the optimal treatment plan for you and also the type and size of implants that will make your breasts just like you want them to be. The surgical plan is decided during this consultation and customized to cater to the patient’s needs. Moreover, you will be asked about your medical history, current medication and issues that you were confronted with if you have undergone previous surgeries. The plastic surgeon will also tell you what needs to be done to prepare for the procedure and how to conduct yourself afterwards to avoid complications. 

Preparing for breast augmentation

The pre-operative stage should be treated with utmost attention. This stage often begins a month before the procedure is scheduled when the patient has to stop taking certain medication. Birth control pills should be stopped a month before the surgery date. Anti-inflammatory medication, especially any containing aspirin, should not be taken two weeks before the procedure. Moreover, if the patient is under treatment for a chronic condition, the plastic surgeon might decide to change doses or even stop the current medication.

Aside from avoiding certain medication, the patient is advised not to take any natural supplements two weeks before surgery as complications can be triggered.

During the operation

When breast augmentation with implants is performed, the plastic surgeon will make incisions on the breasts to create a pocket either under the muscles of the chest or the mammary gland where the implants will be inserted. 

For the safety and comfort of the patient, the patient goes under general anesthesia and the hospitalization period is no more than 24 hours. After the procedure, the plastic surgeon will suture the surgical incisions and place compressive bandages on the surgical area. 

Post-operative stage

After the patient is released from the hospital, she is free to go home as the recommendation is to get plenty of rest at least for the first 24-48 hours. It is not uncommon to experience certain side effects from the anesthesia such as fatigue or dizziness. Pain and discomfort are also common occurrences during the first few days after breast augmentation surgery. The patient will also feel a tension in the chest due to the implants stretching the tissues of the breasts. It is important to know that these effects will subside in time and all you have to do is take the medication as prescribed by the plastic surgeon and avoid certain things that could trigger ulterior complications.

Delayed wound healing

The plastic surgeon will prescribe pain medication and antibiotics. Antibiotics treatment should be taken for five days after the surgery. The surgeon will also give the patient antibiotics through the IV during the surgery. The purpose of the antibiotics is to prevent a potential infection from occurring. An infection could lead to delayed wound healing and other complications and could require further surgical treatment.

If an infection occurs, the surgical wound won’t be able to heal naturally. Pus might be coming from the incision site and the area will be swollen and red. Intense pain can be associated with infection as well as high fever. If you notice any of these signs, make sure to contact the plastic surgeon immediately or a medical professional to get help.

Delayed wound healing after breast augmentation could also be caused by a lack of proper oxygenation of the tissues injured during surgery due to smoking. The patient is advised to stop smoking three weeks before surgery and to avoid smoking for at least the same amount of time after the procedure. Failing to follow this recommendation can cause delayed wound healing and prolong the recovery process unnecessarily. Smoking causes a decrease in the oxygen levels in the blood, and this affects the healing process of the surgical wounds directly.

Applying creams and gels not recommended by the plastic surgeon on the incisions could also trigger infections or delayed wound healing. It is important to follow the instructions of the plastic surgeon to the letter when it comes to the post-operative care of the surgical incisions. Even products that are good for cicatrization can be bad and cause delayed wound healing when used at the wrong time.

Delayed wound healing is a complication that can occur when big implants are used. In other words, the implants inserted into the breasts are just too big and the surgical wounds can’t close at the implants that stretch the skin envelope of the breasts excessively. Make sure to choose the implant size according to the recommendations of the plastic surgeon. Keep in mind that the biggest is not always the best when it comes to breast augmentation surgery.


Breast augmentation surgery is often performed with implants made of silicone or saline solution. The implants are inserted into pockets using incisions made in different areas of the breasts. The incisions can be around the areolas, in the inframammary fold, or on the axilla. Whatever the location of the incisions might be, delayed wound healing can occur after the procedure due to several factors discussed above.

An infection can cause delayed wound healing, so it is important to take your antibiotics for five days post-op and pay attention to any infection signs to get treatment as soon as possible. Smoking is another cause of delayed wound healing. The lack of proper oxygenation of the blood can delay the healing process and even trigger other complications such as skin necrosis. The wounds might take longer to heal if the patient has chosen implants that are too big for her anatomy and there is not enough breast tissue to provide coverage for them.

Delayed wound healing is a complication that can usually be easily prevented by following the recommendations of the plastic surgeon to the letter and adopting a good post-operative conduct. Make sure to keep the surgical area clean and dry at all times and contact your plastic surgeon if you are confronted with delayed wound healing. 


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