A plastic surgeon explains what to do about stubborn dissolvable stitches following breast augmentation.
You’ve had breast enlargement surgery and were sutured with dissolvable stitches—but they’re not dissolving. What’s going on here?
“Depending on what type of suture was used to close the incision, the sutures can last anywhere from three weeks to nine months,” says Allen Gabriel, MD, board certified plastic surgeon with PeaceHealth Medical Group Plastic Surgery in Vancouver, WA.
“During this time, thick scar tissue can form around the sutures and it will take 1-2 years for the scars to soften up,” he continues.
“Massaging the scar and pinching the scar will help expedite the sutures, and scars soften.”
Type of Sutures in Breast Augmentation
“It is generally preferred to use a longer lasting suture in areas of more tension such as a tight incision where the implant is pressing against it,” says Dr. Gabriel.
“This will also improve the scar long-term, as it will have fewer tendencies to stretch.
“Using shorter lasting sutures may affect the quality of outside scar. So there is a fine line between what we feel and what we see.
“Feeling a thicker scar that can be massaged is probably preferred over having a stretched-out, discolored outside scar that may last forever.”
Dr. Gabriel is adept at addressing a wide range of concerns, from breast reconstruction after mastectomy and the treatment of congenital anomalies, to complex facial and breast surgeries performed solely for cosmetic improvement.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.