Strange 'dent' in breast after reconstructive surgery

Hi, I had a full mastectomy and immediate reconstruction with an implant in Oct 23. After the swelling went down I noticed a strange dent near my cleavage. It is about 1cm across and I can put the tip if my finger in it. My surgeon advised that it is an internal stitch which can be massaged out, and I will need to massage it every night very firmly. Does this mean that the stiches are ‘dissolving’ stiches which will eventually fade and the dent will disappear? Or will all the massaging in the world not reduce the dent? It is rather uncomfortable for me to massage the area and I wanted to enquire if anyone had had a similar issue. Thanks

Hi, I can’t offer any advice I’m afraid but I’ve got a similar dent on the outside of my lumpectomy wound (from early January). It definitely looks like a stitch has been pulled too tight and it isn’t located where the tumour was removed. I’ve been massaging the whole area for about 6 weeks and the internal solidness along the wound is improving but the dent hasn’t changed. Surely the stitches will have dissolved by now? It is a shame as the rest of my scars look ok. My surgeon seemed happy with everything (admittedly I didn’t mention the dent).

Hi julie1,

Thank you for posting your question.

It is common to have some dents or rippling following breast reconstruction using an implant. This often settles over time, but sometimes it can be ongoing. Massaging is often recommended after breast surgery to help the skin and scars to soften. Internal stitches will most likely be dissolvable, as you say, and can remain for months after surgery. It sounds as though your breast surgeon has recommended massaging the area to help encourage these to dissolve.

Do talk to your breast care nurse or treatment team about this, particularly as you’re finding this uncomfortable to do. If the dent doesn’t improve, sometimes additional procedures, such as lipomodelling, can help improve the appearance and your breast care nurse will be able to let you know if this is an option for you.

It can be difficult to adjust to how the reconstructed breast looks and feels and it’s important to remember that it can take 6 months or more for the breast to heal fully. Sometimes, talking to someone who has had a similar experience can be helpful. Our Someone Like Me service can match you with a trained volunteer who’s had an implant breast reconstruction who can share their personal experiences to answer your questions, offer support or simply listen to how you are feeling.

We also offer a range of free supportive services for anyone who has had a diagnosis of breast cancer which you may be interested in. They include face to face and online courses and events. For more details about all of these services, please see the information in the link.

Do call our helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The helpline team have time to listen, talk things through and signpost you to more support and information if necessary. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks. The number is 0808 800 6000, (Relay UK -prefix 18001).

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Breast Care Nurse

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