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How Do I Know if I Have an Infection or Hematoma After Breast Implant Surgery?

I had silicone breast implants placed 15 days ago. The left is soft and painless. The right is painful and harder to the touch. I had bilateral capsular contractures with saline implants in the past and am very concerned. Could this be an infection? Hematoma? Or contractures again?

Doctor Answers (12)

Hematoma or infection

+2

In short, your symptoms could be any of the three that you mentioned.  Hematoma is generally accompanied by bruising, and your affected breast will be larger than the unaffected one.  Infection may or may not be associated with fever.  I generally ask my patients to begin breast massage soon after implant placement.  There is some evidence that this can help reduce the occurrence of capsular contracture.  Additionally, Accolate or Singular may contribute to the avoidance of capsular contracture.  It would be wise to see your doctor ASAP.  He or she will be able to diagnose this with a good physical exam and possibly labs. If these issues are addressed early, they are inconsequential, but the longer time between diagnosis and treatment, the worse the outcome.


San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Hard Breast Atter Recent Breast Augmentation Surgery

+2

Since you have two breasts and both had the same procedure, it is understandable that you would be concerned about how different they feel after recent surgery. In theory, the harder right breast should feel more similar to the left and should not be considerably more painful at this point after surgery. You should return to your treating plastic surgeon immediately and discuss your options. It will not be a capsular contracture at this early point after surgery, but it may be a small hematoma or fluid collection.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Firm, painful breast 15 days after surgery

+2

Please go back to your surgeon for a personal evaluation.  With your history of prior capsular contracture, I'm assuming that you had more done than just a simple breast implant exchange.  15 days after surgery, it's possible to have a hematoma or seroma. With a hematoma, you might see new bruising on the breast, but not always.  With a seroma, you might feel a fluid wave or "swishing" in the breast, but not always.

The fact that your breasts are so different at this point is reason to see your surgeon again ASAP.

Carmen Kavali, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

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Hematoma vs Infection after Recent Implant Exchange

+1

If you have drains, this should be pretty easy to figure out.  If not, infection will present with fever, redness, soreness, and swelling.  Anytime there is a change in the breast size, I ask my patient to immediately notify me, such that I can perform an in office examination.   

I would recommend immediate contact with your plastic surgeon as I am concerned by your swelling combined by pain, could be a characteristic of a hematoma.   This may require operative intervention to control bleeding, prevent infection, and minimize risk of capsular contracture.

I wish you a safe and healthy recovery.

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Pain and hardness early after breast augmentation

+1

From the symptoms you describe and the time frame, infection and hematoma are most likely. Capsular contracture typically takes at least 4 to 6 weeks before setting in. It is important to follow up with your surgeon as soon as possible.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Painful Hard Breast

+1

I think your concern is very reasonable due to the fact that one breast has no problem and you have had capsular contracture in the past. These are concerns that I would want to be made aware of if I were your surgeon. Please call him(or her) to be seen very soon. Good luck!

James M. Kurley, MD
Champaign Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Early post-op issues after implants

+1

After having implant exchange surgery and removal of capsules, it is likely that one breast required more work than the other.  But, any questions this early should be directed to your surgeon if you are worried about a possible hematoma.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Early Post-op Concerns Need to be Directed to Surgeon

+1

No one can tell you if you have a hematoma or infection from the information you provided.  This should be addressed by your surgeon as soon as possible.  Even if it does represent a hematoma, that hematoma can become infected if not properly and timely treated.

John Whitt, MD
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Post implant questions

+1

Only your doctor can answer this.  It would be too early for cc and if you don't have fevers and redness it probably isn't infection and if the one breast isn't dramatically larger it isn't a hematoma or a seroma.  Can't be diagnosed over the internet.  Go back to your doctor and have an evaluation.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Breast implant problems

+1

This may be a tough diagnosis to make and I understand your anxiety over the matter. I would remain in close contact with your surgeon and his /her staff.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.